- The Washington Times - Monday, June 24, 2002

Advertising & Marketing

Vanilla Coke is everywhere on TV, on the radio, on billboards and, of course, on store shelves. But what's the local connection?
The Martin Agency in Richmond is the creative mind behind the new advertising campaign.
The TV ads, which started running nationally the week of June 10, are designed to pique consumers' curiosity about this new Coke flavor and prompt them to try it. Those ads star actor Chazz Palminteri, who has performed in such movies as "Analyze This" and "The Usual Suspects."
You can expect to be inundated with the sweet-tasting soda pop this summer.
In the Washington market the soft-drink giant has 40 billboards and 60 bus-stop ads touting the drink. The company has started a 33-city sampling tour during which it plans to give away more than 10 million samples of Vanilla Coke. Tasters can get a sample at local events such as the Orioles' D.C. Summer Fanfest on Wednesday at Farragut Square.
In addition, Coke started an online promotion last week where consumers can make their own version of a Vanilla Coke commercial.

Making the choice
Choice Hotels International is focusing on all the essentials of summer travel: gasoline, food and lodging.
The Silver Spring-based hotel franchiser is offering a $5 gas card and a free McDonald's Extra value meal as part of its newest summer promotion.
Television, radio, print and online advertising created by Arnold Worldwide in McLean has begun touting the promotion and incorporating the marketing message, "The Power of Being There. Go."
The promotion started last week so it's too early to tell how many travelers are taking advantage of it. But Choice expects to give away about $4.5 million in gas and food. During a summer promotion last year, the company gave away $2 million worth of gas, says a company spokeswoman.
Travelers to the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Clarion, Quality, Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites hotels who stay a minimum of two consecutive nights can take advantage of the promotion, which lasts through Aug. 31.

Soaring into Philly market
US Airways is looking for some brotherly love.
The struggling airline has hit the Philadelphia market with new advertising, including print, radio and outdoor ads, that focuses on the business traveler as well as those traveling to the Caribbean. The ads, which broke this month, were created by Baltimore's Eisner Communications.
The Arlington-based airline is also going after niche groups within the Philadelphia market.
The Latino, and gay and lesbian communities two fairly sizable segments in the city are a focus of the campaign, says Rachel Seba, vice president at Eisner. The Latino ads, for instance, are in Spanish.

In other ad news
The Bomstein Agency in the District will handle the advertising and brand building for My Eye Doctor, a Northern Virginia-based eye care chain founded by Dr. Robert Samit. The company has five locations and plans to open three more by the end of the year.
Baltimore-based MGH has been named agency of record for Smyth Jewelers, a family-owned jewelry store in Timonium, Md. The agency will handle marketing services, advertising planning, and buying and public relations.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884 or at [email protected] Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.

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