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KHNL’s Web Dreams

September 8, 2008

While watching the Olympics a few weeks back I couldn’t hep but notice a somewhat annoying, highly recurrent local ad promoting KHNL-NBC’s online content. The amateurish production values and non-professionals used in the ad gave the impression that it was UGC, but given the state of local tv advertising it was hard to tell. It could have been a professional ad produced to look like UGC, but if it was there weren’t any overt tells for the viewer to latch onto to draw this conclusion.

Regardless of the production values, source and intent, it was frighteningly impactful. Possibly because it aired every other ad break.

But production values are not what I wanted to write about. It was the content that I found interesting.

KHNL seemed to be promoting a lot of online services – job classifieds, dating services, etc. – that you would not normally think of a network television affiliate providing. In short, they were pitching their website as a one-stop information and networking portal with a young demographic as their target (hence the Youtubestrian touch with the advertising). It made me think of how the print media are scrambling to fortify their online offering in an attempt to stay relevant and profitable. Is the same trend happening in local network television? Granted, the heyday of local broadcasting is long gone, but I wonder about the viability of adding content that most people would consider in the realm of print or digital. I would be interested to know if this is part of a greater national trend or something happening locally.

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