Ad Firm Plans Official Campaign Unveiling In March

OCEAN CITY — In hopes of coordinating the town’s advertising strategies with the business community’s, the tourism department has announced that it will hold an official ad campaign kickoff this year.

Tourism Director Deb Turk told the Tourism Commission last week that MGH Advertising plans to unveil the town’s official marketing plan on March 16 at 1 p.m. at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, which marks the first time that the town will show the campaign prior to the season.

“In the past, we’ve always just done a campaign wrap-up for the business community and the public to let everyone know how it did, but this year, we really wanted to be sure that the business community knows exactly what our message is going to be so they can utilize that message into their own advertising strategies heading into the summer,” Turk said.

Travers said that the campaign kickoff, which will highlight the marketing strategies and media buys for the year as well as preview some of the Rodney advertising spots, will also include an opportunity for the business community to learn ways to utilize various social mediums and networks to garner new business.

“We’ve really found a lot of success on those social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,” said Travers, “and this will enable them to learn about how to improve upon their own network presence at no cost.”

Last season, several of the area businesses implemented some discounted rates and specials using the name of the town’s so-called official mascot, Rodney the Lifeguard, making the term “Rodney rates” and other various terms a new part of the town’s and local business community’s marketing vocabulary.

Travers hopes to increase this cross-marketing practice by helping the local business community get up to speed in the world of web advertising.

“This will hopefully get everyone on the same page, and show them all the things that they can do to kind of piggy back off what the town is doing to market itself and help their own businesses”, said Turk.

This ad campaign kickoff could also prove to be a way to help increase memberships in the Chamber of Commerce and Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association.

“Since the town redesigned its website, it is clearly working as far as driving traffic to local websites, whereas prior to the website redesign that wasn’t the case,” said Chamber of Commerce President John Gehrig. “To drop membership now when you are going to lose thousands of visitors is clearly a mistake. What you gain for the price of membership is extremely valuable if you look at all the web traffic that will be pushed your way alone.”