- The Washington Times - Monday, May 6, 2002

Celebrities and politicians are coming together for another ad to promote Washington, D.C. First the cast of NBC's hit "The West Wing" urged people to come to the nation's capital after the September 11 terrorist attacks; now people such as first lady Laura Bush; Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican; singer Roberta Flack; and the Redskins' Darrell Green are taking their turn in front of the camera to promote the city.
The public service announcement is being created on a pro-bono basis by EUE Screen Gems, a New York-based production company with an office in the District.
After requests from friends and politicians in Washington, Jeffrey Cooney, executive vice president and creative director at EUE Screen Gems and his team came up with the idea for the ad.
"We felt this was our patriotic duty," says Mikola V. Shevchek, executive producer at EUE Screen Gems, which produced the "I Love New York" ads.
The D.C. ad, which started filming last week, features a rendition of George and Ira Gershwin's "Of Thee I Sing" by Howard University graduate Roberta Flack.
Mr. Shevchek says most of the elements of the commercial are being donated, including the celebrities' time and the use of the Gershwin tune. Mr. Shevchek estimates the cost of a production like this would be between $2 million and $3 million if the city was footing the bill.
The ad will be turned over to the Washington Convention and Tourism Corp. when it is complete next week.The city's marketing arm is in the process of trying to get donated national airtime to run the spot.

Come live in Baltimore
Baltimore is attempting to lure Washingtonians to its side.
Charm City has kicked off an advertising campaign marketing the neighborhoods around Penn Station to D.C. commuters.
The campaign, which includes print ads and Metro stop ads, highlights the ease of commuting to and from the cities, the familiar lifestyles both cities share, as well as the much lower cost of living Baltimore offers, says Tracy Gosson, director of Live Baltimore Marketing Center, the nonprofit organization behind the ads.
"You can rent a small loft [in D.C.] for $1,400 a month but pay less than that to have a mortgage in Baltimore," Ms. Gosson says.
The print ads highlight a particular property in one of the neighborhoods, while the Metro ads speak to the quality of life in Baltimore.
The first 50 D.C. commuters who buy a Baltimore home in either Midtown or Charles Village as a result of the campaign are eligible to receive three free monthly passes for the MARC train, which goes directly from Baltimore to the District.
Ms. Gosson says this is the first time her organization has targeted people outside the Baltimore area.
The campaign, which began April 25, will continue to run through July and pick up again in September.

Tasting chocolate
The Washington market will get a taste of Hershey Park for the first time in an ad campaign set to begin next week.
More than 100,000 households around Washington will receive Hershey Park vacation guides in the mail. Advertising will also hit Metro stops and at least four television stations and a half-dozen radio stations, says Kim Schaller, vice president of marketing and sales at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. The company is spending more than $500,000 on the campaign, which is set to run through mid-July.
Using the tagline, "Fun so close you can taste it," the regional destination is trying to change people's perception of how far away Hershey Park is, Ms. Schaller says. Hershey Park is located in Hershey, Pa., a little more than 130 miles or about a two-hour drive from Washington.

New wins
The Maryland State Lottery has recommended Eisner Communications as its agency of record again. The Baltimore agency, which has had the lottery account since 1997, still has to get final approval from the Board of Public Works. The account is worth approximately $15 million per year over the next four years with an option to extend for an additional two-year period.
Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology has hired Qorvis Communications in McLean to handle strategic public relations and marketing communications services. The Center for Innovative Technology is a nonprofit corporation that works to increase and enhance the state's technology competitiveness.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other week.

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