Upfronts: Selling the Sizzle

CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC and CW…are working on unleashing their upfronts.

You may find yourself asking what in the world is an upfront and why is it important to me as a local business.  Well upfronts are a way for the networks to showcase what is new and exciting, and what exactly they plan to highlight as it relates to…well….what they hope national shops will value as a top dollar item.  So talking about CBS first…they have the super bowl coming up and will be presenting their usual stables.  NBC is getting crazier with Sunday night football and even more crazy is the fact that NBC is pushing to get Super Bowl rates for the Thanksgiving game.  ABC is ABC and Fox is Fox (sorry guys).  CW will still be catering to a demographic that is a tough nut to crack in terms of ROI.  So “blah, blah, blah-ing” all this info to you does have relevance at a local level.  What programming is right for you?  Of course this can be a loaded question – and this is my point.  DO NOT BE FOOLED IN TO BELIEVING THE HYPE THE NETWORKS WILL BE PUSHING OUT AT  A LOCAL LEVEL – LIKE THEY DO EVERY YEAR!  I have said this before in a few posts, NOTHING IS DIFFERENT about getting results – good creative and strategic buys will yield results, not “let me tell you about the new fall line-up”.  Please please please if you are considering spending your ad dollars on inflated “shrink packages” – talk to us first, I promise you will be shocked by what you hear!  Did you know you can buy a market strategically in local news, local programming and sponsorships – and reach the same viewers you are trying to reach in a more expensive prime slot?  What I am talking about is efficiency and buying the market smart.  The same guy or gal watching Two and Half Men, MNF, Modern Family or even the Simpsons, also watches other programming – and wouldn't you know it…you can reach them more efficiently – and some times get a better frequency while you are at it.  Research the market and get a better understanding of what your ad dollars are really buying.  “Sizzle” rarely equates to sales.  Believe me all the TV stations are trying to sell you “sizzle”.