New OC Advertising Agency Rolls Out ‘Enjoy’ Campaign

New OC Advertising Agency Rolls Out ‘Enjoy’ Campaign
The beach in Ocean City is pictured last July. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – Resort tourism officials this week got an early look at a new “Enjoy Every Little Moment” advertising campaign from its new advertising agency.

On Monday, the Tourism Commission got an overview of the new campaign being rolled out BVK Advertising through a Zoom meeting.

In December, the Mayor and Council confirmed BVK Advertising as the successful bidder following a months-long process to find a new firm, and the company hit the ground running earlier this year.

BVK Advertising will ultimately be charged with working with resort tourism officials on an overall branding effort. For this first year, however, with the season rapidly approaching, the company is rolling out a simple, yet potentially successful campaign with its own fingerprints on it.

The campaign centers on “Enjoy the Summer,” and “Enjoy Every Little Moment.” It borrows a little from the resort’s approach to marketing somewhat, but there also appears to be a different approach from the norm, according to BVK account executive Kristin Wood.

“The situation is we’re trying to develop a new campaign with an updated look and feel for the destination,” she said. “A gap approach is needed to bridge the new campaign.”

BVK Creative Director Nick Marrazza explained the essence of the new campaign.

“Ocean City is really a place you can relax and leave your life on the other side of the bridge,” he said. “Life can ask a lot of us. All we ask is that you just enjoy.”

Marrazza said the campaign focuses on everything Ocean City has to offer.

“We want to express the surprise and delight and all of the things Ocean City has to offer,” he said. “Just come and relax and enjoy the summer.”

BVK Media Buyer Jeremy Whitt said the agency has a $5 million budget for this year, about 70% of which would be directed at summer advertising and the other 30% during the fall and winter months. He identified Ocean City’s key markets as Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton-Wilkes Barre and Johnstown, for example.

“The idea is to increase awareness of Ocean City,” he said. “Are we reaching enough people? We are looking at where people are coming from and when, and looking to target people who are going to spend more.”

Ocean City Marketing and Communications Director Jessica Waters said the campaign includes elements from prior campaigns, with BVK’s own signature on them.

“There is an opportunity to take what we have and give it new life,” she said. “We’re working on a rebranding strategy.”

Tourism and Business Development Director Tom Perlozzo promised it would not be the same old thing with the advertising campaign.

“There are some surprises and things we are doing,” he said. “That presentation is like a tenth of what we’re doing. We have some really exciting things we’re going to roll out.”

Waters said the “enjoy” campaign should resonate with visitors who are coming out of the pandemic.

“After two years of kind of a somber feeling, the ‘enjoy’ campaign is refreshing,” she said. “People are ready to get out there and enjoy.”

Councilman and commission member John Gehrig said it appears the campaign reaches out to all of the town’s target audiences.

“Each person chooses what they want to enjoy,” he said. “It seems like the campaign is personalized to everyone’s different interests. If you want to golf, that’s in there. If you want to fish, that’s in there. If you want to dine and enjoy the nightlife, that’s all in there too.”

Waters said BVK will be directing resources at promoting the offseason as a time to really enjoy all the resort area has to offer.

“There is a lot of focus on the offseason,” she said. “Traditionally, we really stop advertising after Labor Day.”

Perlozzo said BVK’s initial campaign includes a wide variety of platform, from television and radio to print and banner ads, and from social media to video.

“The media mix is way different than what we’ve done in the past,” he said. “I think this is a really good plan and I’m excited about it. It’s a different take on our destination.”

Perlozzo said BVK has been very thorough just a few months into their contract on identifying Ocean City’s target audiences, and the “enjoy” campaign makes the adjustments necessary.

“They have their own researchers,” he said. “They are on top of who is coming and from where, and how much they are spending when they get here.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.