The Library of Congress’ latest ad campaign says it’s fun to know history. The Advertising Council partnered with the world’s largest library for public service announcements directing people to its Web site, www.loc.gov, which has more than 8 million historical facts, figures, documents, pictures, maps and manuscripts.
The ads, targeting adults ages 18 to 26, highlight instances where people incorporate historical facts into comical situations.
For instance, one 30-second TV spot shows a doctor rolling a patient on a gurney down a hospital hallway. The doctor says: “You’re lucky, young fella. You know hospitals didn’t even use ether for your procedure ‘til about 1846. Yeah, slap on a few live leeches. Grab a hack saw. And get to work.”
The doctor continues, “Course, we don’t use leeches anymore.” And he laughs. The voice-over says: “It’s fun to know history” and directs the viewer to www.loc.gov.
“Studies show that, although most Americans profess an interest in history, a large majority cannot identify major historical figures and events,” Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council, says in a statement. “This new advertising will entertain audiences encouraging them to visit the Web site where they can learn fascinating facts about our country.”
The ads were created pro bono by DDB Chicago.
The Library hopes to raise awareness of its new adult-targeted Web portal called “Wise Guide,” available on the Web site’s home page. Since the massive amount of information on the library’s site can be overwhelming, Wise Guide offers monthly links to the best of the library’s online materials.
The two radio ads and three television spots were distributed late last month to more than 12,000 media outlets, which will have to donate the time to play the ads at no cost to the nonprofit Ad Council or the Library of Congress, says Jill Brett, the library’s director of communications.
Mrs. Brett is confident the campaign will be successful and that stations will play the ads, especially if the Library of Congress’ previous public service campaign is any indication.
The library joined forces with the Ad Council in April 2000 to help jump-start its new family-oriented Web site www.americaslibrary.gov. That campaign has since received more than $123 million in donated media services, and the Web site has received more than 300 million hits.
In other news
The Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington has received 780 entries this year for the Addy Awards competition, which includes 83 categories. The winners will be announced April 5 at an event at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner. The winners will advance to the regional round, where they will be up against winners from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The winners from that round will compete on the national level in June.
Bethesda-based walczy.hamilton.tran.meyers has been named agency of record for Genesis Assisted Living, a network of elderly care centers. The ad agency will handle advertising, direct marketing and media placement for the Towson, Md., company and is scheduled to kick off a campaign by early spring.
The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), based in Alexandria, has selected the Martin Agency as its agency of record after a two-month review. The Richmond-based ad agency will handle print, television and radio advertising, in addition to media planning and buying. NORA, a nonprofit group that educates the public about the benefits of heating with oil, expects to spend about $10 million a year on advertising.
Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.