- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2003

The District is moving in on potential residents. Next month, the city will begin an advertising blitz to promote “City Living, DC Style,” a program intended to lure more people to rent or own a home in the city.

The District will advertise its amenities and promote a three-day expo in October that will provide people the information they need to make a move into the District.

The program, created by the Washington DC Marketing Center and the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, will target commuters, renters, empty nesters and young professionals.

The advertising also will be “educational,” says Chris Bender, a spokesman for the planning office.

“It will arm [people] with two or three things they just didn’t know they could do in the city,” he said.

To get the word out, the District has teamed up with local Fox affiliate WTTG-TV (Channel 5), local UPN affiliate WDCA-TV (Channel 20) and ABC Radio stations WMAL-AM (630), WJZW-FM (105.9) and WRQX-FM (107.3)..

Fox and UPN will promote the expo and will run spots featuring D.C. residents explaining why they love living in the city. A contest to select the starring residents will begin Sept. 1. Ads to promote the contest will air on the ABC Radio stations in the District.

About 40,000 brochures, created by the Ad Store in the District, will be available at Metro stations, and 10,000 brochures will be distributed at events around the city. Metro riders will be inundated with banners, ads inside the Metro cars and bus ads promoting the program.

The ads also will direct people to the redesigned Web site, www.citylivingdc.com.

The total value of the project’s advertising is about $200,000, which includes cash from the city and donated space and time from the media partners, Mr. Bender said.

Most of the ads will run over the next two months to stir up interest for the expo, which begins Oct. 24.

Good vs. bad news

Depending on how you look at it, the Martin Agency may have some good news for you. The Richmond ad agency has just released five television spots for Geico using its “I’ve got good news” theme.

The “good news” campaign depicts someone in a bad situation, with another person saying he has good news because he has saved money on his car insurance after switching to Geico.

The Martin Agency, which has had the Geico account since spring 1994, introduced the “good news” campaign in March. Since then, eight television spots and 16 radio ads have been created.

One of the latest ads features an investigative committee telling a company chief that he has been found guilty for obstruction of justice, embezzlement of company funds and questionable accounting practices. The committee chairman says the good news is he is saving money on car insurance because he has switched to Geico.

What’s in your pants?

GKV Communications has created a new ad and theme for Lance Inc., the Charlotte, N.C., snack food company.

The Baltimore-based agency’s “I got Lance in my pants” campaign kicked off on radio with five different spots in Southeast markets last week. Lance, which considers its products “on-the-go snacks,” uses man-on-the-street interviews and the new “I got Lance in my pants” theme line.

Comedian Dave Mordal from NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” asks questions such as, “Would you rather put a slice of pizza in your pocket or Lance crackers?”

The ads will expand to other markets in the South and run through the end of this year.

Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.

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