TV One Sets First Local Effort

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African-American-targeted TV One is jumping into local advertising sales for the first time with a trio of initiatives available to affiliates throughout the country.

LaTanya Butler said the time is right because the two-year-old network reached the 30 million home mark last month. TV One hopes to translate that distribution plateau into excitement within the advertiser community.

While advertisers have supported the dominant player in this ethnic niche, Black Entertainment Television, said Butler, TV One can offer a “segment within a segment.” That’s because its viewers skew older than those of BET.

She noted that the local ad-sales efforts tie in with a good mix of some of TV One’s most popular fare. One of the opportunities is linked to Get the 411 on TV One: Black Achievement. The vignettes are part of TV One’s ongoing interstitial campaign, featuring 30-second profiles on such luminaries as Nobel Peace Prize winner and United Nations peace negotiator Ralph Bunche; Roots author Alex Haley; and Grand Slam tennis champion Althea Gibson. The spots also offer tips on health and nutrition. The segments are like the ones commonly seen in February, to coincide with Black History Month, but “to us, Black History Month is all year long,” Butler said.

Local sponsors can affix themselves to the last seven seconds of the vignettes, she said.

This summer, the network will sponsor a sweepstakes tied to Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin. By entering at the network’s Web site, viewers of the chef’s show will have the opportunity to win a trip for four to the Tom Joyner Family Reunion celebration, an annual gathering for families held in Orlando, Fla. Local prizes will include backyard barbecue tool sets, which can be given to cable viewers or presented as a reward to local advertisers, Butler said.

To support this effort, TV One has produced taggable promotional spots that can be used by affiliates from June 1 through July 29. Point-of-purchase materials are also available for local advertisers.

In the fourth quarter, a contest staked to TV One All Access Pass will offer a viewer and a guest the chance to fly to Hollywood for “star treatment,” including a holiday movie premiere. Butler said the network anticipates this tie-in will be linked to an African-American-targeted movie. Marketing tools will be available to affiliates Sept. 1 through Nov. 10, including taggable spots, in-store materials and banner ads.

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