When Promo Music Hits All The Right Notes

WCNC Charlotte, N.C., found that with some tweaking, the “This Is the Place” music image campaign from Stephen Arnold Music sums up musically what the Belo-owned NBC affiliate is all about and perfectly supports its news brand, Looking Out for You.

Luanne Stuart, creative services director at Belo-owned NBC affiliate WCNC Charlotte, N.C. (DMA 25), remembers the feeling she had the minute she saw and heard the “This Is the Place” music image campaign from Stephen Arnold Music: “I thought, wow, that could be Charlotte; that feels like what we live here in Charlotte,” and she yelled for her promotion manager, Ryan Rawlings, to come take a look and a listen.

“The music spoke to us,” Rawlings says.

The next step was to convince WCNC’s general manager and news director that a music image campaign was in the best interest of the station.

Stuart, who’s been at WCNC for five years, says, “they both loved the idea.”

To reflect the station’s news brand (Looking Out for You) and location, Stuart asked Stephen Arnold Music to customize the lyrics of the music image campaign, which involved a complete re-singing of the music.

Carolina’s the Place


Here’s a recent promo for consumer reporter Bill McGinty that Stuart shared as one example of how WCNC is the station that is ‘looking out for you.’

Get McGinty 

“Neighbors helping each other is very much a Charlotte, North Carolina, thing,” says Stuart, “and since we’re the station that’s ‘looking out for you,’ we felt we needed to have those lines in the song to help build on our brand.”

To accomplish that, Stephen Arnold Music needed to bring back into the studio the female lead singer and the church choir to re-sing everything.

The next step in the production was to shoot the video to accompany the music.

“The images were carefully chosen and well-planned out,” Rawlings says, “to reflect the iconic images of the city and its people.”

Using a Canon Mark II 5-D camera, Rawlings says 80% of the footage in the campaign, including the shots of the church choir, was shot locally. “The images are so warm and colorful,” he says, “and the film-like quality really sets our station’s marketing apart in this market.”

In addition to the city scenes, Rawlings wanted to show Charlotte’s people. “Charlotte is very much a melting pot and we wanted to capture the uptown sophistication as well as working people.”

The purpose of the campaign, according to Stuart, “was simply to celebrate and showcase all things Charlotte.”

Stuart cites the upbeat optimism the city is experiencing, saying the timing is good: “A few years ago, this might not have worked.”

Stuart felt is was important to help build internal excitement so she kept the station’s management team as well as its news producers and sales executives up to speed on the editing progress.

“When I showed everyone the 60-second version, they were blown away.”

Stuart says the “Carolina’s the Place” campaign began airing in March with the 60-second version premiering in the hit NBC primetime show, The Voice.

“It’s really important that we air the 60-second version as often as possible so viewers can get into the music and images,” Stuart says. “The :60 really engages the audience.”

The next phase of the campaign will incorporate video of the station’s on-air talent out in the community. 

“Even with all the connections we make with viewers through digital and social media,” says Stuart, “we never forget the importance for our folks to be out meeting people one-on-one.”

Chad Cook, the creative director for Stephen Arnold Music, says 16 TV stations representing all the network affiliations currently use the “This is the Place” campaign. The stations range from large markets to small and in addition to Belo include stations owned by Scripps, Gannett, Hubbard and Nexstar to name a few.

Speaking of music, Chris Pruitt, VP-GM of KMVT (CBS) and KTWT (Fox) in Twin Falls, Idaho (DMA 191), shared a story about his rapping weatherman, Nick Kosir.

Kosir says his first weather rap was when he was at a TV station in Beaumont, Texas. “It was hot and sunny for six weeks and I was bored saying the same thing everyday.”

Nick Kosir, the Rapping Weatherman

Here’s Kosir’s more recent rap from Twin Falls.

The Rapping Weatherman’s Sixth Live Weather Rap

Kosir started parodying rap songs as a DJ in college and says the videos are great for school visits. When asked how his raps are being received by viewers in Twin Falls, Kosir says: “I haven’t gotten any death threats yet, so I consider that a win.”

Comments (2)

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kendra campbell says:

April 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

Perhaps WCNC, Charlotte could enter this century. There are four “news” stations in the market – and they are the only one without HD. Hello!

alicia farmer says:

April 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

When no news program generates more than a 1 demo rating – feel good promotional drivel shouldn’t be the priority. Per above comment – isn’t HD a good idea in 2013? Yikes!

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