Gospel Custom-Fits Content

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Gospel Music Channel is creating a series of vignettes that will cast the Bermuda Department of Tourism as the subject, not just an advertiser, in its Gospel Insider short-form content.

Gospel has had success attracting national advertisers to sponsor the Gospel Insider, noted executive vice president of advertising sales Mary Jeanne Cavanagh. These have included Verizon Communications, General Mills and Ford Motor’s Lincoln division. But this will be the first time the channel will customize to highlight an advertiser.

Because the channel produces so much original content, she added, the sales department has the flexibility to “punch out something special” for advertisers.

Last week, the channel’s Gospel Insider news team recorded three 90-second vignettes featuring the Caribbean nation. They will run in heavy rotation throughout the first quarter, according to Cavanagh.

The segments include a one-on-one interview by Lisa Kimmey, co-host of the channel’s Bobby Jones: Next Generation, with Bermuda Premier Ewart F. Brown, also that nation’s minister of tourism and transport. The two will discuss faith-based tourism and the historical link between gospel music and the island nation.

A second spot will be culled from clips featuring Melinda Watts, the 2008 winner of the channel’s talent competition, Gospel Dreams. Watts will be featured in a command performance she will hold for the premier and his guests. A final vignette will showcase various genres of Bermudian music, especially those influenced by gospel. This segment will include a tour of music venues, lead by Kimmey.

Cavanagh said the Bermuda partnership is worth “a couple hundred thousand dollars” to the channel.

Tie-ins with other potential advertisers are also possible next year, she said, noting that Gospel Dreams will be back next year.

“We just need to be sure we have the right creative,” she said, noting that content, including movies on the channel, are PG-rated. But with the right mix of music and faith-based content, the channel could do other partnerships that “make sense for us.”

“We reach as multicultural an audience as you will find on TV,” added Ty Johnson, senior director of multicultural sales and development. Advertisers are drawn by the ability to reach several constituencies without buying multiple channels, he said.

This sponsorship agreement was negotiated by the channel and GlobalHue, the advertising agency for the tourism agency.

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