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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fargo in Focus: One Fargo company has knocked the marketing ball out of the park

When it comes to local advertising and marketing, Jim Ingstad and his team at Radio Fargo-Moorhead receive all the advertising awards this year. Their commitment to localism and creative marketing has really made a big splash in this marketplace.

Many people assume that being surrounded by creative talent and control over the airwaves would produce top-notch marketing campaigns consistently, but this year’s offering from Radio Fargo-Moorhead goes down the in the books.

The media mix purchased by Radio Fargo-Moorhead only illustrates how media companies from time to time go outside their own mediums to run an effective marketing campaign.

As a marketing consulting of nearly twenty years, it has been very enjoyable watching Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s radio stations reach individual success within their demos.

I am talking about more than just their muppet-themed television commercial with a harmonic Sesame Street jingle. More than their flamboyant billboards with spinning beanies, bobbers and giant lolly pops.

It is the level of community involvement their staff is engaged in. I have heard countless mothers not only tell me about their child singing along to the jingle, but numerous quasi-tantrums were thrown when they forgot their Bob Tattoo at day care or couldn’t wait for a Dilly Bar. The air talent has been cultivating new listeners by popping by various activities dominated by soccer moms and children with BOB 95.1 tattoos and ice cream treats. What some may consider “guerrilla marketing” others call community involvement.

Rock 102 hit a home run when a woman from Buxton, ND publicly criticized their racy billboard in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Of course when your advertisement is targeting men aged 18-34, and hits the front page of the newspaper due to its controversial nature, it is more like hitting a grand slam for a new rock station.

Even Y-94 created some buzz with the high school and college students by simply casting local dancers in their TV commercial. Sprint and Sprite have been using amateur talent for years with significant success.

When Ingstad’s crew at Radio Fargo-Moorhead announced they were going to put their best local foot forward, they meant it. Their marketing attack consisting of a healthy media buy, creative marketing and community involvement really hit on all cylinders. Even if you disagreed with any of the messages within the advertisements, you still can’t discount the fact each campaign hit a bullseye with their projected demographic.

The annual Crusader’s Sabin Street Dance is coming up and I couldn’t help but notice their portable sign on the outskrits of Sabin. At the bottom of the sign, they advertise “Cats and Dogs.” I might be a little out of touch as I near my 55th birthday, but are pets an acceptable guest at the street dance or is that the name of the headlining band? Knowing the Crusader’s, it is probably both.

Davis as been a resident of Fargo for 23 years and a marketing consultant for small to medium sized business for 17 years.

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