Rate Card Friday

23 11 2012

Black Friday

Last year at this time, I was starting a week-long temp job in Kansas City.

It required me to drive across the state the night before, on the night after Thanksgiving Day.  When I arrived at my hotel room, and I flipped on the TV.  One of the local eyeball newscasts promised “complete and comprehensive coverage” of Black Friday the next morning.  I thought to myself, and then later reacted in this space — “What of Black Friday is so complicated and convoluted that is necessitates ‘complete and comprehensive’ news coverage?  Film the drones waiting line, stampeding in at opening, hoarding their crap, checking out, and interview a few of them on their way out, cut, edit, in the can.”

RJP, my most frequent commenter on this blog, floated the theory that “complete and comprehensive” meant censoring the black and Hispanic violence.  I really can’t disagree, either last year or this year.  But…see below.

I now have come up with another theory on what “complete and comprehensive” means in this case.

Backdoor advertising.

During all this “complete and comprehensive” coverage, you’ll see news crews parked out in front of various big box parking lots, and they’ll tell you the name of the store.  At first, I thought to myself, “you’re just giving the stores free advertising.”  Then I pulled myself back and sulked on the word “advertising,” realizing that nothing is really free, and that the news business these days is really the ad business.

Maybe this “free advertising” really isn’t free.

Could local news stations’ Black Friday coverage be somehow related to the rate cards they give to the advertisers who they’re covering as “news” that day?  I could see the negotiations between the TV station and the local consortium of a national big box chain being done in a way where it is understood that the station’s local eyeball news will be parked on the parking lot of that big box mart all day the day after Thanksgiving, so this either means that the stations can get more out of the retailers, or the “complete and comprehensive” Black Friday coverage will be a make good for ratings that fall under expectations when the rate card is negotiated.

As an experiment, to test my theory, I watched some BF coverage from the local sources before and after work today, and tried to cross-reference them to my memory of whether certain stores’ ads run on certain stations throughout the year.  Of course, all the stations will show Wal-Martinez;  that’s too obvious.  But I wanted to see if there was a correlation between a local news truck being parked out in front of Oobie McDooberstein’s Garden Gnome Supercenter and Old Man Oobie running ads on that station throughout the year.  I can’t find anything solid, but curiously, I found that during BF coverage today, Channel 2 leaned heavily on Bass Pro’s Shop and Channel 5 on Cabela’s, and BPS advertises far more heavily on Channel 2 than Channel 5, and Cabela’s more on Channel 5 than Channel 2.

We might be getting somewhere.

If you have any similar confirmation or a rebuttal of my theory, use the comment section below.

As an aside, there was a low-level chimpout at the Wal-Martinez in Kirkwood this morning that Channels 4 and 5 covered.  Why?  Think of the demographics directly to the east of that W-M, and the demographics of the neighborhood that was paved over to create that collection of big boxes where that W-M now sits.

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2 responses

24 11 2012
Bon, From the Land of Babble

Yes, some of the coverage looked like giant infomercials.

After Hurricane Sandy = rampant looting and digging around in supermarket dumpsters scrounging for food.

Black Friday = pushing, shoving, scratching clawing, trampling and biting just to save a few bucks on cheap, Chinese-made goods — with retailers egging on the frenzied shoppers.

“Fights break out when stores open on Black Friday”

“Black Friday madness at Georgia Wal-Mart”

“Black Friday shoppers smash door at Urban Outfitters”

“Shoppers so obsessed with Black Friday Deals they left their infants unattended”

Black Friday is now a bigger event than Thanksgiving!!

Why? Because these people are pathetic and live for “things” and “stuff” which decays, rusts and are quickly stolen. Pitiful. AND, it’s exactly how they voted — for “stuff” and “more stuff” — all of it promised for FREE.

What will these animals be like when it’s FOOD they’re fighting over??

Bon

26 11 2012
rjp

I have long believed the “independent media” has vested interests in certain companies.

Is there any reason so many networks and stations use Skype for interviews? The quality sucks.

Maria Bartiromo and her attitude towards Apple (AAPL)? Completely unbiased? When talking about Apple, she sounded like she was trying to suck it through a garden hose.

Tumi? It’s luggage for crap’s sake.

Facebook. LinkedIn. GroupOn? They sell coupons. Zynga? They sell nothing.

Google? Can anything else do searches?
Annie’s? They make bad mac & cheese that is sold at Whole Foods.

Watching an IPO on CNBC is like watching the special ed football teams’ cheerleaders cheer on the sped’s as they play wheelchair football.

Global warming? Barak Obama? Condoleeza Rice? Rahm Emmanual?

John Mayer? I never thought Sony would give up …. maybe they haven’t, but I had to turn off the radio.

I avoid holiday shopping like the plague. I try to avoid going to the grocery store before 8PM. I try to avoid going to the grocery store on the last day of the month and the first two days of the month. Sales aren’t worth dealing with some people. Traveling on holidays is not for me. I like to be out of my office by 4:15PM so I can be on the other side of the loop by the time the gubmint employees start leaving work.




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