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Success Stories: Speaking to Asian viewers

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The preferred news source for 72 percent of Chinese American viewers in the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland DMA is television, according to a December 2002 study commissioned by the independent Asian-language television station KTSF-TV.
Given that figure, one might think advertisers are clamoring for space on the Lincoln Broadcasting Co.-owned station. “But it is still an educational game,” said General Manager Michael Sherman. “Companies are wanting to know if an Asian person will by buy their product or service.”
The answer is yes. Asian Americans have an average income of $70,221, (14.7 percent higher than that of non-Hispanic whites), and 74 percent of Chinese American households have at least one cellphone. Bank of America has the largest share of Chinese bank customers, with 41 percent of the market.
Flaunting such data is what helps KTSF lure advertisers such as Bank of America to events such as the annual Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade, which was held February 15. Pepsi-Cola Co. was among the participating sponsors that gave away samples of their products.
For the event, KTSF, which had 2001 revenues of $12.3 million, teamed with the Cox Television-owned Fox affiliate KTVU-TV. KTVU, which in 2001 raked in $128.6 million, is also interested in reaching Asian Americans. After all, the market is made up of about 20 percent Asian viewers-about the same percentage of Hispanics in the market.
“The parade is one of San Francisco’s biggest events,” said Kenny Wardell, director of publicity and public relations for KTVU. “It is our version of Mardi Gras.”
KTVU uses the event to wine and dine advertisers. “We had a big client party [of 250 people]. There was traditional Chinese music in the background, Chinese drummers, and dim sum,” Mr. Wardell said.
Linda Sullivan, VP and general manager of San Jose-based KNTV-TV, which became NBC11 after procuring the NBC affiliation away from Young Broadcasting-owned KRON-TV in 2001, said, “Our advertisers are looking for ways to differentiate their products and services [from what is done with other TV stations].” KNTV is sponsoring the Tech Museum’s Earth Day. For this event “We put together a package for automotive clients so they can promote their hydrogen-fuel-celled vehicles.”
KNTV, which had $15.3 million in revenue for 2001, also offers advertisers a multimedia (print and on-air) package with its weekly half-hour show named after its magazine co-producer, Wine Country Living.
KBWB-TV, the Granite Broadcasting Corp.-owned WB affiliate, doesn’t have local programming or local news so it started a twice-nightly three-minute entertainment report called WB20 Daily Mixx. “It has been a hit with advertisers,” said VP and general manager Bob Anderson. Viewers also have a chance to win movie or concert tickets from participating sponsors. Such packages added to the $23.4 million the station made in revenues for 2001.
At year-end 2002, the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market had about $647.8 million in revenues. That figure should climb to $667.2 million by the end of 2003, said BIA Financial Network.