- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 30, 2004

Silver Spring has sprung with a new marketing campaign. The Montgomery County community is in the midst of a $165,000 crusade to let people know that downtown Silver Spring has “sprung” and become a place for entertainment, dining, shopping, working and living.

The campaign, which will run through July, was created by the Stern Agency in Columbia, Md. Yui + Co. of Takoma Park is handling media relations. The campaign is funded by the county and the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this month, the letter “u” replaced the letter “i” in “Spring” throughout the downtown area — on banners, signs and buses. In addition, newspaper ads and more bus signs will be used through the summer. Businesses are showcasing “Silver Sprung” posters, and table tents are set up at restaurants. E-mails are being sent to Silver Spring households and chamber members to spread the word about area attractions.

“This community is coming alive before our eyes and we wanted a campaign that would announce to the region in no uncertain terms that the new Silver Spring has arrived and is open for business and visitors,” said Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan.

Silver Spring began its redevelopment in 1998. The community now has more than 100 restaurants in its central business district, new and relocated businesses such as Discovery Communications and a 22-acre project, which includes retail, the AFI Silver Theatre and a 5,000-seat movie complex.

Bigger is better

BET has created a “big” ad campaign to promote its fourth annual BET Awards, airing June 29.

The national campaign, which began earlier this month, is using the theme “Bigger is Better … And We’re Huge.” Officials say it sets the tone for another “blockbuster telecast” that is longer with one extra hour.

The campaign, valued at $2 million, includes national and local TV ads, radio, print and outdoor advertising, as well as contests and promotions at Magic Johnson Theatres and dance clubs.

In 2003, BET created an aggressive ad campaign promoting the show. It paid off, drawing 5.5 million viewers, 25 percent more than the previous year.

The three-hour show, hosted by comedian and actress Mo’Nique, will include awards for video of the year, best male and female hip-hop artist, best actor and actress and best group.

New wins

• GKV Communications has been named agency of record for Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and will handle the grocery retailer’s $5 million advertising account.

• Warschawski Public Relations has been named agency of record for the DeWalt Industrial Power Tools division of Black & Decker Corp.

• Strategic Communications Group Inc., based in Silver Spring, was named public relations agency of record for ACG National Capital, an association that deals with corporate growth in the area, and Technology Service Corp., which provides engineering services for radar and surveillance systems, geographic information systems, information-technology consulting and logistics management.

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

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