- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 27, 2004

The District is beginning another marketing push to persuade more people to move into the city through its “City Living, DC Style” program.

The program, in its second year, is intended to lure more people to rent or own a home in the city. The marketing effort promotes a three-day expo in September that will provide information about moving into the District.

Last year, the expo attracted 6,000 people. Officials hope more than 10,000 will attend this year.

The campaign is valued at $400,000: about $237,000 the District is spending and $163,000 worth of donated space and time.

The District has teamed up with local Fox affiliate WTTG-TV (Channel 5), local UPN affiliate WDCA-TV (Channel 20) and radio stations WTOP (1500 AM and 107.7 FM), WRQX-FM (107.3) and WBIG-FM (100.3).

Print ads will appear in The Washington Times, The Washington Post and community newspapers within a 25-mile radius in September. Weekly ads will appear in the Express, the Post’s free daily newspaper, throughout the summer.

About 50,000 brochures will be available at Metro stations and at events around the city. Ads will also appear in Metro cars.

An aggressive advertising blitz will begin two weeks before the expo, which starts Sept. 17.

“Come September, [the advertising] will be difficult to miss,” said Chris Bender, a spokesman for the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, which created the program along with the Washington DC Marketing Center.

The District also will rely on real estate agents to help spread the word to clients.

The agents will be used to help track how many residents move into the city as a result of the program.

And the winners are …

Three local agencies brought home national Silver Addy awards from the American Advertising Federation earlier this month.

Sparky’s Garage of Leesburg won an Addy for the packaging for Doc Harry’s, a line of hot sauces and drink mixes. GKV Communications in Baltimore received an Addy for the creative work for Music & Arts Centers, a Frederick, Md.-based music retailer. Michael Mooney of the District won an Addy for the logo for Third Story Films.

Other wins

• Virginia Railway Express (VRE) has named Williams Whittle Associates of Alexandria as its new advertising agency.

The $450,000 annual contract is good for three years with two, two-year renewable options. Incumbent Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens, which had the account for seven years, and Pulsar Advertising were the other two finalists in the review.

VRE handles more than 15,000 daily passengers on 32 trains on the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines, which both go to Union Station.

• Imre Communications, with offices in Baltimore and the District, is handling public relations for John Deere’s national ride-and-drive campaign. The campaign, in more than 40 markets, allows participants to test their driving and mowing skills on a John Deere 100-series lawn tractor around an obstacle course.

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

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