Local TV ads go for national quality

February 6th, 2019

By Dirk Rowley | WANE

Bud Light, Pepsi, and Burger King spend millions to air and create their ads for Super Bowl LIII. 

Local TV ad creators want the same million-dollar look but with a budget usually far, far less.

"The production quality has to be there. If it's not, it looks local," says Bob Kiel, VP & Creative Director for Ferguson Advertising. "And, you know, we try to avoid that at all costs"

Well, not ALL costs, Kiel concedes.

"Obviously they've got millions of dollars and we've got thousands of dollars."

Of course, sometimes the ads will be seen not only locally but by viewers nationwide. 

Matt Kelley, owner of One Lucky Guitar, faced that double challenge when he took on the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership as a client. The group wanted to elevate the "quality of place" perception not only of local residents but potential new residents and business owners.

"It's got to create action at the end, right? So it's good to have enough of a hook that someone leaves and says, 'I want to learn more,'" say Kelley

"We had 30 seconds for someone (then) to go to the website to watch the three or four minute video to learn more on the site or to download the roadmap. And it's got to be fun. It's going to be entertaining."

The quality video production helped local companies recruit, adds Kelley.

"HR departments for many of Northeast Indiana's leading employers used that footage in their own talent recruitment. And it was a real win for them because they didn't have to go and shoot the lakes, then go to the zoo, or come down to a block party. We'd already shot that and it was part of their story they told."

The production and entertainment values, while important, take a back seat to "the idea" contends Kelly Gayer, Creative Director at Asher.

"Last time I checked, there's no button on this keyboard that says 'idea' or 'creative.' It's one of the last things last left. What's going to engage somebody? What's unique? What's creative? What's new? What's fresh?"

Of course, repetition can work, too.

If someone sings "Korte" most people would respsond with "does it all" to the delight of Matt Henry, President and CEO of Patterson Riegel.

"When we first started working with them, they were Korte Electric," says Henry. 

After the company added sewer, plumbing, and HVAC services, "we thought, 'Well, geez. Korte Electric doesn't encompass all that you do. So let's introduce a jingle that sings what all you do.'"

"And that was about 20 years ago and I think it's safe to say it's now iconic when it comes to local TV commercials."