Ocean City Introduces ‘Vacation Day’ Marketing Campaign

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City’s new television commercials for the 2014 summer season have been under wraps for the past several months but were debuted to the local business community this week.

“They were giddy,” Council Secretary Mary Knight said of the business community’s reaction.

Tourism Director Donna Abbott presented the spots to the Mayor and City Council during Monday evening’s legislative meeting for the public to see.

“We previewed them today at the Season Kickoff Meeting with members of the business community, which was very well attended. They [commercials] were very well received. There was a lot of excitement with applause and laughter, all very favorable, so we are very excited about this year’s campaign,” Abbott said.

The commercials picture people wearing bright yellow “Vacation Day” T-shirts acting as a vacation day used to accomplish chores, appointments and other tasks besides an actual vacation. Then, in comes Rodney the Lifeguard featuring all of what Ocean City has to offer. The end of each commercial will spotlight a different event in Ocean City, such as Sundaes in the Park.

According to Abbott, Ocean City’s advertising agency, MGH, surveyed 2,000 U.S. citizens and 45 percent responded their vacation days are used for completing other tasks.

“The premise of this advertising campaign was the thought that vacation days go unused. I think all of us that have ever worked in the private industry or the government, you get so many vacation days a year, and a lot of times you don’t use them, so we are trying to hit home with that,” Knight said. “It is extremely exciting and we are hoping to get a lot of buzz. It makes you think when you see the advertisement what you did with your vacation days.”

As in year’s past Ocean City’s advertising campaign for the summer of 2014 will be blasted across social media, including a contest to give away a five-day vacation to Ocean City.

Abbott furthered the reality is that many professionals do not utilize all of their available vacation time, and the campaign is geared to resonate with them specifically.

“It is no surprise people are not using all of their vacation time, so we feel this is going to resonate with people. They will understand and remember it, and hopefully think, you know what we need to take a vacation day,” she said. “The business community was very excited about the shirts and the opportunities they can use to market their individual businesses, so we will hopefully see lots of ‘Vacation Day’ shirts on the Boardwalk.”

Ocean City’s advertising campaign last year was the “Lucky Summer of ’13” and commercials were aired where Rodney the Lifeguard appears to save people from their everyday life and escape to Ocean City, which also featured special deals and discounts offered that summer.

In the summer of 2012, Ocean City featured “The Summer of Thanks” as its advertising campaign that highlighted the value in vacationing in Ocean City with all the discounts, deals, and free events and activities offered throughout the town.