- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2003

The Go RVing Coalition is targeting people's passions with its latest advertising campaign.
The group, which consists of recreation vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and campgrounds, began a three-year, $50 million integrated ad campaign called "Pursue your Passions" last week targeting 30- to 49-year-old adults with children.
"We want to increase the awareness of the benefits of RVing and the ability to pursue your passions," says John Baker, account planning director for the Richards Group, the Dallas-based ad agency that developed the campaign.
The agency created five TV ads that will run on major networks and cable, as well as three radio spots that will begin running next month.
Actor Tom Selleck, an RV veteran, provides the voice-over for the spots.
One TV ad features children and parents on RV getaways while Mr. Selleck encourages people to go RVing: "Before boredom finds you, go wild. … Before another excuse gets in the way, go do something you really enjoy. Go on, pursue your passions. Go RVing."
The campaign also includes four print ads, which will run in 26 national magazines.
The Go RVing Coalition started the first of three phases of advertising in 1997. The first phase, which cost about $20 million, lasted through 1999. In 2000, the coalition kicked off another three-year ad campaign worth about $38 million.
"The program has been wildly successful," says Gary LaBella, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, based in Reston. "It's contributed to the growth of the industry.
"We're one of the brightest spots on the travel scene," says Mr. LaBella, noting that sales of RVs rose considerably last year.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, more travelers took to the road rather than fly. Mr. LaBella says travelers these days more often choose to stay with family or explore remote areas, rather than visit big cities. These factors that have contributed to the growth of the RV industry, Mr. LaBella says.
About 10 million RVs are on the road.
Realtor targets emotions
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. of Fairfax is trying to connect emotionally with home buyers in its newest branding campaign.
The new television and radio ads, created by the Dan Rosenthal Co., broke last week and will last through March. The ads are running in the District, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Salisbury, Md., Richmond and Norfolk.
"[Long & Foster] wanted to reconsider the way they communicated their brand … and find the best way to connect with the consumer," says Beth Johnson, vice president of account management at the Bethesda-based ad agency.
One ad shows a couple who has just moved into their new home searching through boxes for the essential items for a romantic picnic. They retreat to an empty bedroom filled with candles.
"We've moved away from the agent- and services-based ads that currently saturate the market, and developed a new style focusing on the core values of our audiences, introducing emotionally driven messages to achieve that human connection," Mrs. Johnson says.
In other news
Stanton Communications, a public relations firm with headquarters in the District, has opened an office in New York to handle its corporate practice business. The new office, led by Deborah Radman, will be responsible for building on the agency's portfolio of work for such corporate clients as W.L. Gore & Associates and Sprint.
Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.


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