OCEAN CITY – The oceans are evaporating, at least according to the resort’s most recent ad campaign.
Ocean City and advertising firm MGH rolled out the red carpet on their newest ad campaign this week, presenting a new twist on reaching potential vacationers in an effort to draw tourists to the resort in an increasingly difficult economic time.
The informally named “End of the World,” campaign officially kicked off Friday night with the online airing of the newest commercial, continuing Sunday night with the television debut, with TV spots running all week long.
“We really felt that we needed something to really stand out,” said MGH President Andy Malis last week.
The “End of the World” approach focuses on the notion that the world’s oceans will evaporate in one billion years, due to an inevitable pull towards the sun. As a result, “we urge citizens to book their Ocean City, Md. trip now – before the oceans disappear,” says Mayor Rick Meehan in the commercial.
The commercial features Meehan in a dated public service announcement, in which he urges vacationers to take advantage of the oceans while they still can by visiting Ocean City. Scenes of ocean-related fun that will come to an end in one billion years, such as the beach, seafood and swimming and fishing are featured in the commercial, with further emphasis on fun activities, such as golf, that will still be available in the absence of the Atlantic Ocean.
“It’s in the style of an old emergency commercial,” said Malis, comparing the style to that of the popular television series “Lost.” “It’s a big campaign for us for June, and we think it’s going to get a lot of people talking.”
Based on early indications, Malis was correct, as numerous media outlets have picked up on the new campaign. For example, Fox News produced a primetime segment on the commercial and interviewed Meehan on Wednesday evening.
Getting people buzzing about Ocean City is the ultimate goal of the new campaign, according to MGH. The hope is to catch people’s attention and spark conversation about the resort.
The 60-second commercial was featured on all the major networks this week, as well as the top 10 cable systems, top 10 radio shows in each market, with a print ad featured in the main news section of the top newspapers in each market. New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Washington D.C. and Baltimore are a few of the markets where the campaign will be featured, totaling 27 million impressions in June.
The commercial will also be seen online, via morefunhere.com or youtube.com.
“By creating a youtube version, its designed to be something people can see on demand on the Internet,” explained Public Relations Account Director for MGH Chris McMurry.
McMurry said the buzz created by the commercial will only boost Ocean City’s popularity.
“We are doing something so different. Ocean City isn’t going to play by the rules when it comes to advertising,” said McMurry. “The news of the farcical, the media likes that stuff.”
McMurry also noted MGH’s decision to intentionally steer clear of discussion of rising gas prices in their campaign. McMurry felt it was a topic that he feels shouldn’t be constantly mentioned as a reminder to visitors already on a tight budget.
Last year’s television commercial featured white stick figures against a blue backdrop, enjoying the various activities the resort has to offer, from swimming to golfing.
The new commercial ran all this week on television and will remain online indefinitely. Whether or not it was effective in changing the minds of millions of potential vacationers remains to be seen, with the success of the campaign ultimately being measured by tourism numbers this summer season.