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January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 1 Pledge Culture: Rituals and Truths Or Why the Regular Schedule Programs Don’t Pledge Very Well.

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Presentation on theme: "January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 1 Pledge Culture: Rituals and Truths Or Why the Regular Schedule Programs Don’t Pledge Very Well."— Presentation transcript:

1 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 1 Pledge Culture: Rituals and Truths Or Why the Regular Schedule Programs Don’t Pledge Very Well

2 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 2 Pledge is  Not like being a doctor –formal school  Pledge is an apprenticeship  On the job training  Learn the rituals and mores from a master/mistress  All of that training and practice constitutes the pledge culture

3 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 3 Pledge Culture Rituals  Many are true… scientifically  The practices are garnered from years of use… and change gradually  Example: from taped breaks, to air checks to virtuals  So why is it so hard to pledge regular schedule?

4 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 4 Rituals are Habits  Look at how we learn to ride a bike  Or more complicated to drive your car  After lots and lots of practice you finally get it  And it goes on “automatic”  Old habits hardly ever die… after decades you get on a bike and after a bit be back in form

5 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 5 Effort Expended Learning

6 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 6 Biology of Habits  After you learn a habit or understand a ritual your brain slips into automatic  You no longer “pay attention”  That’s what happens when you watch a TV program or a pledge break…  Automaticity dampens attention  Neuroscientist have more dire label

7 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 7 Habituation  A habit or ritual is different  Habituation is the result of lengthy practice or repeated exposure  Good side: Automaticity. I can drive to work without sweating bullets.  Bad side: if you are an addict, your dose has to increase to get buzzed

8 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 8 Habituation:Continued  A television program suffers from habituation where people’s attention wanes from repeated exposure  And the same for a pledge break or a pledge drive  So one – not all – reason the regular schedule does not pledge is habituation

9 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 9 Learning from Antiques Roadshow  A television format is another form of ritual/habit  We have spent years learning the mores and have conditioned expectations about what is proper and expected… Judy Woodruff does not kiss and make out Ray Suarez on the NewsHour set

10 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 10 Antiques Roadshow Appraisal 1.Introduce object with some mystery 2.Bullet points on distinctive features 3.Provide historical context 4.Epiphanies of lives and antique 5.What’s it worth 6.Close the loop between owner, object and apprasier

11 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 11 Why ARS is a Hit  There is a variety Objects Casting owners and apprasiers Length  Pacing is quick – short two minute segments  Cutting is quick and pink

12 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 12 Show Colleene Fesko segment

13 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 13 Segments Are Habits  Antiques Roadshow has a basic format that it spins off variation  The viewer has conditioned expectations and pays attention to that varies from expections  Pledge Breaks are expectations that rely on traditional TV practices

14 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 14 Ritual Pledge Break Elements  Type of break Live or virtual? Challenge break? Sustainer  Casting pledge talent  Pacing and variety in the break mostly occurs through editing

15 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 15 Building Blocks of Break  Program (reference to it)  Incentives (Premium, member card etc.)  Mission of station  Case statement (Basic needs statement)  Member benefits  Vote (your pledge is a)  How to pledge  Call to action

16 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 16 Message Points Percentages Eight Station Averages – Two Selected Stations

17 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 17 Pledging Antiques Roadshow  AETN pledged a special edition and it was #9 in total dollars for the drive  They used local talent, the usual premiums, and two breaks…  It uses a three talent rotation of seconds per talent with each working up the premium ladder.

18 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 18 Show AETN segment

19 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 19 AETN’s Approach  The viewers hear their own voices and see their friends and neighbors  The tone is civil – southern civil  The set is warm and red  The appeals were mostly social contract – the loaf of bread…  Local is local

20 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 20 Using Tools of the Trade  Kansas City successfully pledged Finding Your Roots  Created a clever set of premiums that tapped into reservoirs of success elements: viewer desires/craving and the magic of TV  The program delivered a primed audience interested in genealogy

21 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 21 Creating a Premium Craving  Kansas City has one of the top 10 genealogy research libraries in the US  The “city” has a robust library culture and the librarians are raised in the civic culture to create public value  The premium was a $120 one day training session at the library (box lunch included)

22 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 22 Premiums Exist in Context  Premium price ladders focus attention on the mid range choices. In KCPT they had $3,200 premium, $ 120 and basic membership…The $3,200 premium makes $120 look like a bargain.  The breaks were mostly traditional with two major “new” elements… all the librarians on the set explaining things and a video visit to the library to see the “tools” and how to use them

23 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 23 Progressive Discourse  AETN Blencko  excerpt

24 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 24 Creating Tension  KCPT employed a version of progressive disclosure – that is they did television and captured the viewers attention…  By mid-break viewers want to see that library and what you are going to do that day… and finally you do see… (play excerpt)

25 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 25 Show KCPT segment

26 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 26 Key Take Aways  Habitation normally dooms efforts to pledge the regular schedule, since both the breaks and the program are on automatic pilot  The station has to strive to localize their appeals (hear your voice) and appeal to local guilt mores to succeed  And/or create compelling local pledge premiums.

27 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 27 Pledging Local Acquisitions  These series tend to be music, Britcoms, travel, docs and drama  These programs attract genre specific audiences and have more varied appeals in terms of emotion and social relationship (drama)  Why we pledge is based on emotion not reason and contemplation

28 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 28 Most of Your Life is Unconscious  Emotions are feelings and not words…  Music is emotional  A Picture is worth a thousand words  Speaking and thinking in words is slow, cumbersome and mostly boring

29 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 29 Why Spock Would Never Pledge  Generally you decide first, often impulsively  Once you decide to pledge your mind goes looking for alibis  The premium is a part of the problem, not the alibi  Ergo our mission and case statements

30 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 30 Pledging Drama is Easy?  It is a local decision, and that has deep social roots…  The pledgers are local viewers hooked on the drama’s relational emotional hooks  Pledging is voting  The embers of arousal need only be fanned

31 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 31 Erupter Breaks Could Float the Titanic  Even the most taciturn breaks can not stop the phones  Even the lack of premiums, logical ladders of offers can quell phones  Erupter breaks spoil pledge producers

32 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 32 Maine excerpt

33 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 33 Pledging Foyle in Seattle  Again local talent, local references, “your choice to view and pledge”  Bell shaped curve of pledge tallies  Here there is wit and wisdom  The middle level disappears

34 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 34 Does it Make You Warm/Mellow?  There should be some type of emotional “connection meter” If drama connects with viewers then it should pledge if the series has density and production values Same with music and some local docs  Nostalgia is a personal but it is a powerful emotional buzz…

35 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 35 Creating Local Pledge Documentaries  Designed to evoke nostalgia for times or people gone by  They validate people’s lives  Create a link between the station and its viewer community  They have some unique properties to succeed

36 January 2013 Pledge Culture and Biology of Pledge 36 Take Aways


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