Success Story: Tulsa Gets A Topsy-Turvy Test

Apr 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Every now and then you might spot a misspelling in a billboard ad and wonder how many phone calls to the company it generated. At least that is what crossed Ken Kinder’s mind when the promotions manager for KWBT-TV in Tulsa, Okla., saw a misspelling in an ad in another market.
The error didn’t incite him to call the company, but it did get his creative juices flowing. The Cascade Broadcasting-owned WB affiliate soon created an ad sales promotion around its own extensive outdoor campaign, in which it intentionally posted one billboard out of about 40 upside down to see how many viewers might respond.
“What we wanted to do was weigh how well the outdoor campaign was working,” Mr. Kinder said. “We got between 200 and 300 responses … which were limited by [the upside-down billboard’s] location.”
Each person who went online or came into the studio to fill out a form indicating the location of the upside-down billboard entered a drawing for a chance to win $500 gift certificates from three sponsors.
Robertson Tire, Western wear outfitter Drysdales and Moody’s Jewelry received mention in all the promos for the month-long March to April campaign. Partner Lemar Billboards also received mention.
“It worked really well for us,” said Mr. Kinder, who offers advice to other stations considering a similar promotion. “Definitely locate the billboard centrally. In a fringe area it will not be as effective. With it being centrally located you have a better chance of people talking about it even if they are not aware of what the promotion is. They may just think `Those guys are crazy. The billboard is upside down.”’