Success Story: The Grass is Greener in Spokane

Mar 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

ABC affiliate KXLY-TV in Spokane, Wash., received more than 200 entries from viewers in its designated market area who contended they had the “Ugliest Yard” and wanted a chance to win an extreme yard makeover, including $5,000 in landscaping and $13,000 in new rain gutters, a storage shed and other prizes.

In 100 words or less, entrants described why their yard deserved to be made over. Five finalists were announced on the station’s morning news program “Good Morning Northwest.” The following week the grand prize winner, chosen by a committee made up of station personnel and vendors, got the news of her win at her office while a camera crew captured the moment.

The Morgan Murphy station signed on Haase Landscape to complete $5,000 worth of major landscaping redesign in 36 hours and brought in five vendors to help underwrite the production and promotion of the contest. Sponsors were featured in 63 30-second spots, 18 10-second program promotions and 90 30-second enter-to-win promotions.

The station, however, went beyond the traditional and created a half-hour show that featured the landscapers and vendors hard at work. The promotion more than paid for itself, said Julie Cecil, the account executive who put the package together. She even maintained a Web presence featuring the vendors and contractors that donated time and materials.

The KXLY promotion was so successful that in September 2004 it was honored as Best of the Best at the National Association of Broadcasters’ Small Market Television Exchange.