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KCOP Billboards Raise Character Issue

October 29, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: KCOP-TV Channel 13 News

Agency: Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica

Challenge: Create an identity for the station's local news program.

The Ads: Outdoor ads show grainy photos of newsmakers alongside the slogan, "Just one character in the big show." On one ad, Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks is referred to as "the new marshal in town." President Clinton, shown in another ad, is labeled "embattled leader."

Comment: KCOP has remodeled its set in conjunction with launching this campaign, an effort to upgrade its image so as to compete with better-watched local news shows on KTLA-TV Channel 5, KCAL-TV Channel 9 and Fox Channel 11. Rather than trot out its news anchors, as many other stations do, KCOP elected to promote the news programs themselves as a mix of information and entertainment. Entertainment? That's what viewers expect, says Rick Colby, the executive creative director of Colby Effler. "It's a fine line," he explains. "They don't want news to be fake and phony. But it's still a form of entertainment. They're watching TV." KCOP not only acknowledges that TV news is part show business, it uses entertainment as a selling point. The ads are honest. But should we applaud them? $$ Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being highest.

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