Transcript: Progressive Advertising, Jan 09 2007

How progressive advertising should be.

Thom Hartmann on Progressive Talk Radio Advertising, 09 January 2007

Apropos… of this whole issue of progressive talk radio, and finding a viable financial model and everything, it's a lot in the news these days. And I mentioned how Friday night, Saturday night, when I was in Minneapolis, I'd gone out to dinner at a restaurant that was an advertiser on the Minneapolis station there and had just an absolute marvelous meal and they've seen an increase in sales and how here in Portland we've seen the same thing.

And this is, I know that there is a group of people, there is a group of consultants, who are running around saying, "Well, you know, progress talk radio needs to become more mainstream; you've got to stop being so liberal. You've got to be more mainstream. You've got to be more like Chris Matthews, you know? You've got to get them righties on and talk about sports from time to time, stuff like that."

I don't buy it. I don't buy it. And because we're seeing here in Portland, and it's not because Portland is an incredibly progressive town, there are five counties in this metro area that this radio station reaches, KPOJ, that I do a morning show on, and from which I'm broadcasting this national show. There are five counties. Three of those five counties voted for George Bush in both of the last two elections. This is a purple area. I mean, it is becoming increasingly blue, but the Republicans up until this last election controlled the State House for the last sixteen years.

And so, I want to share an ad with you, not by way of saying this is an ad, cause this is an ad for a local guy here in Portland, right. You know, the folks listening in Seattle or in Pittsburgh or in Grand Rapids or in Saint Louis or in Dallas, Texas or whatever, you're not going to be able to take your car to Tom Dwyer and have it fixed. But this is just an example of the kind of advertising, the kind of fearless advertising that actually works on progressive talk radio and if there's, you know, progressive program directors out there listening or people who are active in trying to build progressive talk radio, you know, take a listen and consider what happens when you get folks like we've got, like Randy White here at KPOJ. We actually have four people dedicated to selling nothing but progressive talk radio and they're progressives and they go out and they find progressive business owners and we end up with ads like this. This is an ad from a local auto dealer, great guy, locally owned, great guy, but well, it speaks for itself.

"Hi, this is Tom Dwyer of Tom Dwyer Automotive Services. 230 2300. Our country is dangerously close to losing the protection our Constitution provides. Without KPOJ, we'd have even less access to critical knowledge and information needed to help us protect our country from the onslaught of fascism. While Tom Dwyer Automotive Services is interested in delivering peace of mind service for your vehicles, nothing matters at this critical time as much as promoting and supporting progressive programming like KPOJ. From all of us at Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, thank you for your trust and thank you for helping me support KPOJ."

Now that's one of his more outspoken ads. Here's one that's just a little more straight up.

"Hi, I'm Tom Dwyer, owner of Tom Dwyer Automotive Services and I support Thom Hartmann. We offer a complete range of services for 1992 and newer vehicles. We also service hybrids. We perform Portland's most thorough pre-purchase inspection; we offer DEQ failure repair and check engine light diagnosis. KPOJ services your intellect; we'll service your car. Call Tom Dwyer Automotive. 503-230-2300. Together we can support democracy while adding years of life to your vehicle."

Now, Randy White, Randy hangs out on our studio. You're supposed to be out there selling but progressive talk radio's so much fun.

[Randy]: I don't know, you're doing my job for me.

[Thom]: OK. When Tom Dwyer started running these ads, what happened?

[Randy]: He had an onslaught of business, of people that went in there and said, "I am coming here to your automotive shop specifically because you're supporting progressive talk radio", thanking him and then telling their friends and he's seeing great business because of it. Because he had the intestinal fortitude to say what the progressive audience wants to hear from businesses they want to give their money to.

[Thom]: Now we had the same experience with a restaurant downtown, "Blossoming Lotus"?

[Randy]: Absolutely, Blossoming Lotus.

[Thom]: This is just all local stuff. This is what a local station can do and this station is making money.

[Randy]: Well I know that there's got to be other stations out there that have listeners that send emails to the program directors saying "Can I see a list of your advertisers; I would like, I need a plumber; do you have a plumber that advertises on your progressive talk radio station?" And they look at their need and then try to find that product or service that matches their values.

[Thom]: Right, and so the wise thing is to do what very smart management did here at KPOJ and that is to get progressives like you out there selling, looking for progressive businesses and selling progressive advertising on a progressive station. Gee, what a surprise, but it works.

[Randy]: You think?

[Thom]: Yeah! Randy, thanks a lot for hanging out here with us.

[Randy]: Thank you, Thom.

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