How did they do it? Much of the credit goes to their on-air promos, and the strategies they employed to schedule them. First, they narrowed their promotional scope to shows they felt had the best chance of winning – notably "Housewives" and "Lost." While this irked some ABC's other producers, the decision to focus their promos clearly worked.
Like the other major networks, ABC believes strongly in the power of running promos during prime time, airing somewhere between 600-800 ratings points during the 8-12 weeks leading up to each show's debut.
The other strategy is airing the same basic promos for programs, as opposed to mixing up a variety of different creative approaches. The philosophy, of course, is to hit viewers with the same consistent messages in order to generate sampling.
Think about how their tactics compare to ours. Think about the frequency and message focus you use during your prime time programming – your morning shows. In so many market visits we make stations fail to utilize their big morning shows as cross-marketing vehicles. In a time when so many stations can no longer rely on outside marketing, making the best use of valuable on-air promos is not just smart – it's essential.
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