Success Stories: Nebraska-grown and -made

Jan 6, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Hastings, Neb., is home to the original makers of Kool-Aid. That’s one of the many tidbits viewers learned from a revenue-generating program that aired on the Gray Communications-owned CBS affiliates KOLN-TV and KGIN-TV in the Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Neb., designated market area.

The “Made in Nebraska” campaign, which ran from June 24 to Sept. 1, used vignettes, special advertising opportunities and a half-hour prime-time special to build awareness about products made in the state. The program has been going for 10 years. “We look into having nontraditional advertisers buy into this campaign,” said General Sales Manager Kris Ryan.

Each advertiser gets a 5-minute presentation about their product or company history. “We’ll go into a tire manufacturing plant and show how they make new tires,” Ms. Ryan said. “We get to go out and talk to people with unique products that might be shipped all over the world. [The companies] get an advertising schedule, a vignette, presence on the Internet, and they get the half-hour program.” About 20 companies participated this year.

KLKN-TV, a Citadel Communication’s-owned ABC affiliate, has driven new direct business through its newspaper about the station’s programs and personalities. “We have been able to generate anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 with this promotional piece,” said VP and General Manager Roger Moody.

The tabloid-size paper comes out during May and November sweeps and reaches 35,000 homes via direct mail. Advertisers receive ad space based on the amount of their spending. The station keeps the paper, and thus the ads, in the hands of the viewers through contests. Each mailing label is number-coded, and during a newscast 10 numbers will flash on the screen. Viewers with one of those numbers can then phone in to win prizes.

NBC’s KHAS-TV, owned by Greater Nebraska Television, is proud of its “Present Patrol.” Working with local sponsors, such as Allen’s Super Center, the station collects and distributes toys and clothing numerous food items to families for the holidays. KHAS runs on-air promotions and goes live to some of the drop-off sites.

“We bring all the items from our various drop-off sites back to our studio and put them on our set,” General Manager Ulysses Carlini Jr said. “That generates a lot of awareness for the program.”

BIA Financial Network says TV revenues for the Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, area are expected to be $22.7 million by year-end, up from $21.2 million in 2001.