Fox News Pitches Brand Resonance

Mar 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Now that George W. Bush and Jesus Christ are on board, Fox News Channel is hoping other advertisers will see the light.

Last week, as Fox News was making a pitch to major advertisers at New York’s 21 Club, President Bush’s re-election campaign made a $1.5 million, three-month buy, and the distributors of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” plunked down $100,000 for a week’s worth of ads.

In its pitch, Fox talked about its political coverage and began outlining new research from Knowledge Networks/SRI that shows Fox News is “the leading cable news channel for brand resonance.”

Fox has already signed two advertisers for its election coverage packages, said Paul Rittenberg, senior VP, national advertising sales. One is Chrysler, which also bought an election package from CNN; the other is the U.S. Telecom Association. Mr. Rittenberg hopes to close a deal with a financial services firm soon. Election-year packages, which provide exclusivity during convention and election night coverage, cost about $2 million.

While Mr. Rittenberg wants Fox News to be seen as the “political network of record,” the network is citing the new research in an effort to “establish a little extra value for your audience.”

The fall 2003 Knowledge Networks/SRI Syndicated Brand Resonance Study put Fox News ahead of CNN and MSNBC in viewer loyalty, attachment, community and engagement.

Those attributes mean that Fox News viewers are in a better state of mind to receive ad messages, and that its viewers influence the purchasing of others.

Mr. Rittenberg said he began showing the survey to ad buyers last week and will be giving presentations through the cable upfront season.

Fox News, the top-rated cable news network, already has passed CNN in ad revenues. Now Mr. Rittenberg wants bigger shares of news budgets and wants to take dollars from other dayparts. He also wants to raise prices.

“We’re looking for CPM increases, but I don’t think they’re going to be double digits,” he said.