Why The Arkansas Counties Facing The Mississippi River Are Important To YOUR Health Care
Last week, after talking a little bit about our media strategy for the new Blanche Lincoln TV ad (see below) we got a lot of e-mails asking why we were spending money in Memphis, Tennessee and Springfield, Missouri. I want to clear that up. The way the cable systems cover Arkansas is by dividing it up into media markets, DMAs I think they call them. The bulk of the money we've spent in the past-- and that we're spending on the new campaign, is in Little Rock, Jonesboro and Ft Smith. However, big swathes of northwest Arkansas and eastern Arkansas are covered out of Springfield and Memphis, respectively. That doesn't mean TV viewers in those cities will see our ads. We're only buying placements for Arkansas homes that are covered as part of those markets. Amazing what they can do with cable TV targeting these days!
Our last batch of Arkansas ads kicked off with a 6AM shot on CNN's American Morning For those interested, the cost of running that spot in each of the markets was this:
Little Rock- $85.00
Ft Smith- $25.00
A spot on Larry King Live is much more expensive, primarily because they reach a larger audience. We've bought quite a few of them.
Little Rock- $155.00
Ft Smith- $90.00
Although we are gladly honoring the Color of Change boycott of Glenn Beck's racist program, we do want to reach Fox viewers have we're running spots on that network too. Their morning show, Fox & Friends, was a pretty good buy:
Little Rock- $100.00
Ft Smith- $34.00
By way of comparison, the MSNBC ads we ran last month went something like this [in the Ft Smith market]:
The Rachel Maddow Show- $27.00 (8:47PM)
Countdown- $27.00 (9:17PM)
Hardball- $17.00 (10:56PM)
The Ed Show- $18.00 (5:50PM)
Caught On Camera- $17.00 (7:09PM)
Lockup- $18.00 (6:31PM)
Honeymoon From Hell- $18.00 (4:52PM)
I haven't spent much time in Arkansas, although in 1995, when I was running Sire Records, I went to Memphis to watch Jerry Lee Lewis record Young Bloodfor the label. There were 4 memorable things we did on that trip aside from hanging with Jerry Lee. We went to see Graceland. We went to a Sunday service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle church, where Al Green is the pastor. We rode in the elevator with the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. And we went to a dog track, Southland Greyhound Park, in West Memphis, Arkansas.
West Memphis is the 12th largest city in Arkansas with a population of around 30,000. It's the county seat of Crittenden County and it gets its cable TV from across the Mississippi River in Memphis. Once the home of Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson and CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, West Memphis is a majority black city, represented by a notoriously drunk Blue Dog, Marion Berry. Only 9 of Arkansas' counties went for Obama over McCain last year and in Crittenden it wasn't even close. Obama took 57% of the vote (in a state which only gave him 39% overall). Blanche Lincoln depends on the heavily Democratic counties of eastern Arkansas to win her races-- Crittenden, Saint Francis, Lee, Phillips, Desha, Chicot and Woodruff. She couldn't win re-election without them. And the people in this part of the state are overwhelmingly in favor of meaningful healthcare reform. They favor the public option by massive numbers. And it's crucial that they understand that it's Blanche Lincoln who has been working against meaningful reform-- and doing so on behalf of the insurance and medical industries that have been flooding her campaign coffers with "contributions." Close to 90% of Democrats in these counties, all of which voted for Obama in 2008, want health care reform with the public option. Thanks, in part, to the ads Blue America has been running all summer and fall, they are now aware that Blanche Lincoln is not representing them. Interestingly, the congressman who represents much of the area, Marion Berry, broke with the Blue Dogs and did vote for the healthcare bill last weekend.
So... would you help us keep our ads running in eastern Arkansas through the Memphis media market? The most expensive spots are $8.00! And like I said earlier, CNN's American Morning is $3.00. So is Wolfie's Situation Room and Studio B With Shepard Smith, The Live Desk, and Cashin' In on Fox. Speaking of Fox, though, you could consider a splurge and let us put more ads up on Huckabee-- this is Arkansas we're talking about-- which costs $8.00 a spot.
The spot is below and here's where you can donate $3.00 or $8.00 or $30.00 or any amount you want to get it shown as many times as you'd like. And, today, everyone who donates at least $30 (that's 10 spots on CNN's American Morning) gets a thank you from Blue America-- a rare (never sold) CD of the full 2:45 version of "Have You Had Enough," which features Rickie Lee Jones with Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.