Aug 29, 2008

LEAP Brings VH1 to Cincinnati

by: Emily Van Winkle in News

Cincinnati, speaking as one, has resonated with VH1—to the tune the network's popular Top 20 Video Countdown will tape a remote broadcast in the city that will air beginning Saturday, September 13, 2008.

A unique collaboration of Cincinnati arts and music enthusiasts, elected officials and thought leaders forged a campaign to help attract VH1 VJ Alison Becker and VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown to spotlight Downtown's renaissance on the popular two-hour program that will air three times on the network. VH1 penetrates 90 million homes. The effort was led by the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission, LEAP (LEAP), a digital marketing agency, and Time Warner Cable of Southwest Ohio in light of the summer-long success of the 3 Doors Down music video, "It's Not My Time," shot entirely in Cincinnati this past March.

VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown will tape the broadcast from venues such as the newly remodeled Fountain Square, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Backstage District, Findlay Market, Union Terminal and Northside with the initial airdate targeted for Saturday, September 13, from 9 to 11 a.m. The two-hour program will repeat Sunday, September 14 and Tuesday, September 16. The taping will allow a backstage interview with 3 Doors Down at Riverbend Music Center on September 6.

The diverse group of city and statewide leaders singing Cincinnati’s praises to VH1 included: Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Sen. George Voinovich, U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, Cincinnati Vice Mayor David Crowley, Cincinnati City Council Members John Cranley, Laketa Cole, Chris Bortz, Leslie Ghiz and Roxanne Qualls, Mayor Mallory's Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet, Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, Ohio State Sens. Eric Kearney and Robert Schuler, Ohio State Rep. Steve Driehaus, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins, 3CDC CEO Stephen Leeper, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Dan Lincoln, UC President and 2008 Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Chair Nancy Zimpher, and many others.

"Retaining and attracting highly mobile, professional talent is a key economic development initiative for Midwest states like Ohio," Gov. Strickland wrote to VH1 President Tom Calderone. "I cannot underscore enough how much the dedicated and energetic people of Ohio would appreciate VH1's timely spotlight on Cincinnati."

Gov. Strickland concluded by saying: "I encourage you to consider telling the story of the rebirth of a great American city—Cincinnati—on your network as it plays a major role in shaping and defining American popular culture."

Sen. Voinovich also wrote to VH1, saying: "I am absolutely confident your host, Alison Becker, and her team will be the toast of the town when filming your Top 20 Video Countdown in Cincinnati. I hope you'll choose to showcase what I know is a wonderful, thriving, first-class American city."

The effort resonated not only with the network's management, but with local leaders as well. "I have never seen such a tenacious public relations effort in my entire career," remarked Pamela McDonald, Vice President of Government Affairs for Time Warner Cable, who was instrumental in the effort by working directly with VH1 management on cross-promotion in the Cincinnati market.

Others in the core leadership group echoed those comments. "We are so appreciative of the vision of VH1 to celebrate the success of the 3 Doors Down video and to spotlight the renaissance taking place in Downtown Cincinnati," said Kristen Erwin, Executive Director of the Film Commission. "We could not dream of a better media outlet to tell this important story of our city's rebirth."

LEAP contributed nearly two months of pro-bono work in serving as the effort's catalyst. "We are pleased and proud to support the tremendous work of our Film Commission, a major reason why 3 Doors Down selected Cincinnati for their video location," said LEAP's Director Cincinnati Office, Suzanne Beane. "We applaud VH1 and all the leaders who supported this effort in helping tell the great back story for the 3 Doors Down video. It's been an effort that is clearly off the charts, and it truly is music to our ears."

About LEAP
LEAP is a digital agency with an integrated philosophy at its core. LEAP delivers integrated experiences that connect on brand promise and achieves true integration by ensuring brands become a seamless part of the consumer lifestyle, not an interruptive one. LEAP has developed a depth of expertise in the consumer product and retail, financial services, food and beverage, healthcare, business-to-business, and fashion and entertainment markets.

LEAP has offices in Louisville, Boston, and Cincinnati. Find out more at www.leapagency.com.