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News Getting New Promos

Jul 25, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Not all the flag-waving seen on TV this week will be for Democratic Party stars.

Taking advantage of the fact that news-oriented viewers will be checking out convention coverage that will feature some of their key personalities and programs, ABC News, NBC News and MSNBC are rolling out new promotional campaigns.

ABC News will unveil a campaign for Peter Jennings, who as anchor of “World News Tonight” is helping to erode the once-easy dominance of chief competition “NBC Nightly News” as that show prepares to transition from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams as its anchor. “Because Trust Is Earned” is the line that will appear on the Jennings promos, which were still being produced and edited late last week.

A new spot for NBC’s top-ranked morning show, “Today,” slipped onto the air last week and this week will appear in print, including New York magazine and a daily publication circulated to Democratic convention-goers. “This Is Today” is the new theme for the spot and the ditty written for a two-minute music video that puts the familiar “America’s First Family” campaign on the shelf at least temporarily. The new spot shows a fast-moving reel of at-play and at-work shots of “Today’s” front foursome and a few famous guests.

The song was co-written by Frank Radice, senior VP of The NBC Agency, who said that giving an extra pump to “Today” is at the top of his list of priorities. The on-air campaign for Mr. Williams, he said, will be “happening more slowly and a little more methodically.”

Meanwhile, ABC News VP and Creative Director Alan Ives has been putting the finishing touches on the first stage of a new campaign promoting the weekday on-air ensemble of “Good Morning America” but also paving the way for the Sept. 4 debut of the weekend expansion of the morning show. A new recording of the popular theme song “Good Things Are Happening” was recorded last week by Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Bill Deasy.

The campaign is designed to give viewers the idea that good things soon will be happening seven days a week and will evolve to introduce the audience to weekend co-anchors Bill Weir and Kate Snow and their soon-to-be-named colleagues. The campaign will expand to print in September, in time for the launch of the fall season.

MSNBC, which recently launched a new “America’s Watching” campaign, this week will unveil new spots in which real people talk about what MSNBC does day in and day out.

In addition, both ABC News’ “Nightline” and MSNBC’s “Hardball” have produced what’s known as proof-of-performance spots in recent weeks.

“Miss `Nightline,’ Miss This” is the tagline on the energetic ABC News spots that focus on recent shows and on anchor Ted Koppel.

Topical “Tonight on `Nightline’…” spots still will appear nightly on the network and will be fed to affiliates, but the reminders of what “Nightline” has just done work well on weekend mornings “when, God knows, I don’t have a clue what I’m running Monday,” said “Nightline” executive producer Leroy Sievers. He said he and Mr. Koppel latched onto this concept “a long time ago.”

Proof-of-performance spots are not new, but it’s easier to run them in the summer, when commercial inventory loosens up and when “you have something significant” to tout, said Val Nicholas, senior VP of advertising and promotion for MSNBC. Otherwise, it “just becomes TV noise.”