Marketing is a mercurial beast that eludes even the smartest and most cunning experts in the field. A hard and fast rule one moment is an obsolete relic the next. And while the rules might change, some things remain constant. TV is a tried and true medium for promotion that never seems to die out, even if the ways in which we promote through this medium have changed over the years.
Informercials and advertisements are as interesting a study as any when looking at the effectiveness of TV marketing. While it might at first glance seem like an archaic form of advertising that is oft relegated to middle of the night programming watched only by insomniacs, it’s more nuanced than that. Shows like NewsWatch TV seem to defy this stereotype at every turn.
An award-winning TV show, NewsWatch TV has proven itself as a advertorial show for the modern era, one that breaks away from the mold cast by earlier incarnations of this style of programming. By offering fresh and stylized content with both paid and unpaid segments woven together in a half hour of fun and electric entertainment, NewsWatch has carved its own niche that offers an effective way to market and promote.
Premiering in 1989, the show as we know it today focuses primarily on tech and entertainment news with segments that highlight newsworthy apps, tech gadgets, celebrity interviews and more. The show sees a regular roster of personalities with hosting duties falling to Andrew Tropeano. As for the company behind the magic, Bridge Communications, LLC produces the bi-weekly show.
Changing with the Times
While the success of the show could be easily attributed to the electric energy brought to every episode by their on-air personalities, there’s a more elemental reason for their high viewer numbers and continued dominance in the field of advertorials. While the infomercial model became stale very quickly, NewsWatch had enough foresight to see ahead of the curve and pivot toward it. In order to illustrate this fact, a little history is in order.
NewsWatch first hit the scene in 1989. The show, as it appeared at that time, would be almost unrecognizable to a modern NewsWatch viewer. It began as a program that revolved around the latest financial news. Interesting for sure, but also very dry. Seeing that this was limiting them to a niche market, the show pivoted toward a more entertainment style show very quickly. This proved crucial in their continued success, but it also wasn’t the last change they would make before settling into their current format.
As we edged toward the new millennium, it was clear we were on the cusp of a tech revolution. NewsWatch observed this and once again expanded their format, settling into a tech-focused show bringing viewers the latest in tech innovation. Using this new and exciting field as their base, they continued to build on this premise, adding an AppWatch segment a few years later.
While the new format focuses on breaking news in the tech world and cutting-edge products, they never abandoned the entertainment slant that brought them their first taste of success. They regularly conduct celebrity interviews, inviting A-list talent onto the show to promote their newest project. Recent interviews include Woody Harrelson, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Dwayne Johnson and more. They’ve even dipped their toes in the sports world with athletes like Jeff Burton and Joe Montana making an appearance on the show.
While this is the format of the show and is the model which keeps viewers coming back for more, it still works hand in hand with their advertising approach. They work with clients, both large and small, to introduce their products and services to millions of viewers throughout the U.S. From the mom-and-pop to the Fortune 500, NewsWatch has positioned themselves as an advertising solution that runs the full gamut.
How NewsWatch Provides a Unique Show
NewsWatch TV is unlike anything else you’ll see on TV, especially in the sphere of advertising. A typical show will include paid segments as well as editorial reviews that offer an unbiased take on the current state of the tech world. Even the paid segments are thoroughly vetted before appearing on the show. If a company chooses to market with NewsWatch, they’ll have to go through an editorial approval process to make sure their brand fits into the theme of the show – shining a spotlight onto innovative products and services that viewers would find helpful. In order to maintain their position as a leader in this field, they work hard to never betray the viewers trust. As long as the company passes this test, NewsWatch works with them to create a unique segment that highlights their brand.
Any given episode includes a variety of segments such as tech product reviews, mobile app reviews, breaking tech news, movie reviews, celebrity interviews and the occasional humorous sketch. NewsWatch also conducts on-site interviews with clients and can be found reporting on the ground at all the major tech conventions including CES in Las Vegas and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A typical review segment in a NewsWatch episode runs about 1-2 minutes and includes information on where a viewer can find those products or services, whether on the web or in a brick and mortar store. Now these segments are a single self-contained report or review that could stand outside of an episode and still make sense. The beginning-middle-and-end structure to each segment exists for a very good reason.
These segments are meant to stand on their own two feet to be viewed online outside the context of a NewsWatch episode. After the show airs, NewsWatch promotes these segments and the client’s brand to their substantial social media following, reaching even more potential customers who may have missed that week’s show. They also host the segment on NewsWatchTV.com where visitors will find plenty of web-only content and engaging articles. The content on the site is both paid and unpaid, reflecting the successful model of the show.
Establishing Trust in the Television and Advertising Sphere
By being transparent in their episodes with a proper balance of paid and advertorial programming, they set themselves apart from others in this unique sphere. While other programs typically only include positive reviews, because every segment is paid, NewsWatch found this style of show to be slightly dishonest or, at the very least, not entirely transparent.
Andrew Tropeano, host of NewsWatch TV, offered insight into how they’ve evolved over time to embrace this model. “Over the years I’ve learned what our audience cares about the most is honesty,” Andrew described in an interview to CEOCFO Magazine. “If we like something, tell them why we like it. If we hate something, be honest and say it. In the beginning, we felt a responsibility to our audience to only deliver shiny beautiful objects. But over time, we realized that an honest negative opinion is as valuable as an honest positive one.”
By allowing on-air personalities to not only introduce audiences to paid clients, but also to give their honest opinions on other new and exciting tech products, the show is given a balance that feels fair and honest. When a viewer hears something like “don’t waste your hard-earned money on this gadget because of these flaws,” they know they’re receiving unbiased reporting and being steered in the right direction.
As mentioned, they maintain an entertainment angle on their show that includes reviews on current movies and TVs and interviews with A-list celebrities looking to promote their newest project. These segments are a draw for many of their viewers who want to see what celeb might drop by in that episode.
By providing viewers what they want with fair and balanced tech reporting and entertaining segments, they stand out in the crowd and provide a non-traditional advertising model that doesn’t need to conform to tradition to be successful.
Where Does NewsWatch Go from Here?
NewsWatch has proven themselves adaptable to the times, willing to change if the landscape demands it. It’s clear that social media is the current reigning king of media and the internet is the channel on which it flows. NewsWatch has not been shy about embracing this channel and using it to the hilt to further promote their clients’ brands.
“As someone who saw the rise of Facebook and other social media platforms over the past decade, I know firsthand how important it is that we create a footprint in the online social sphere.” Tropeano said. “And while it’s important to have a presence within the giants of the industry – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc. – it’s also critical to realize that there are thousands of other networks we can expand to.”
By adapting a chameleon-like approach to media, NewsWatch has refused to pigeon-hole itself into a tired format that yields few results. They know that staying on top means pivoting when the wind warrants it.
“The phrase, ‘the world is our oyster’ is cliché, but it’s honestly how we view our work. We can head in any direction we please, and we will,” Andrew said when looking toward the future. “But we will always be honest to who we are and will continue to provide smart and timely news, reviews, and video to our fans and followers.”
While the landscape shifts underneath our feet, NewsWatch has a firm grasp on what they need to do in order to keep a strong foothold as the curve comes around the bend.