New ads tout Ocean City's 'second season'

September 09, 1992|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Staff Writer

Ocean City, rebounding from a cool summer and a rainy Labor Day weekend, unveils an ad campaign today, telling potential visitors "The Coast is Clear" for an autumn escape to an uncrowded resort.

The campaign is the first created for Ocean City by Richardson Myers & Donofrio Inc. (RM&D) of Baltimore, which won the $1 million advertising contract in July.

Until late October, television viewers in Baltimore, Washington and south-central Pennsylvania will see a series of five quick-hitting, 10-second commercials touting the charms of Ocean City in the off-season, according to Chuck Donofrio, executive vice president of RM&D.

Three of the ads play on the serenity of life in the resort city after Labor Day.

One shows a solitary man at the surf's edge with two fishing poles stuck in the sand. In the background, the viewer hears the sound of a distant answering machine saying, "I'm on another line."

In another, a pair of empty beach chairs rests at the water's edge. "Summer's final performances," the ad says. "Front row seats available."

A third shows two people bicycling down an uncrowded boardwalk as the voice-over says, "Right now is Ocean City's rush hour."

Mr. Donofrio said there was no need for a hard-sell approach to the campaign. "We don't have to sell the destination," he said. "We just have to remind people that, hey, Ocean City's fun in the fall."

Another ad touts the resort's seven golf courses. The final one shows an arm scraping ice off a windshield, encouraging potential visitors to visit while the weather's still pleasant.

The ads will run in newspaper and poster versions in the Philadelphia area, Mr. Donofrio said. These ads highlight the slogan "The Coast is Clear," while the old "Capture an Ocean Memory" catch phrase is relegated to small type.

The new slogan is the brainchild of RM&D copy writer Erin Rowe. Zeinog & Associates of Severna Park had held the Ocean City job.

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