Success Story: Patriotic Ad Makes Rounds

Nov 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As the courts decide whether the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the separation of church and state, TV stations are weighing in with pledge ad promotions.
In the ad, eight business and community leaders each recite a line or two of the Pledge of Allegiance. But when it comes to the line “One nation under God,” the phrase is said by all the leaders, in unison, shown on a “Brady Bunch”-style split screen.
“The Pledge of Allegiance” promotion started in fall 2001 with WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Miss., as a show of national support after Sept. 11. It has since found its way to other stations as a way to support the U.S. forces in Iraq, to celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.
“There was a feeling we needed to do something after Sept. 11,” said Leon Long, general manager of the Liberty Corp.-owned WLOX. Due to the idea’s success, WLOX shared it with fellow Liberty Corp.-owned stations.
Sister station KCBD-TV in Lubbock, Texas, loved the idea and planned to run the ad July 4, 2002. “We took it a step farther and spliced in as many advertisers as we could,” said General Manager Dan Jackson. “We sold it in one morning and stopped when it got to 72 advertisers.” Since only eight people were used at a time, the station had several variations to run over several weeks. They ran it again in 2003 with new advertisers.
Northwest Broadcasting-owned KMVU-TV, a Fox affiliate in Medford, Ore., learned of the promotion at the 2002 National Association of Broadcasters 100 Plus Exchange convention and implemented nine versions that coincided with the war in Iraq.
“We had 72 advertisers involved in the campaign,” said General Sales Manager John Glaser. “A lot of them were nontraditional advertisers, people from the community and small businesses that wanted to show their support.” KMVU ran the promotion three more times over the next 18 months.