Glendening's TV ad seeks name recognition CAMPAIGN 1994

June 02, 1994|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Sun Staff Writer

Parris N. Glendening, the three-term Prince George's County executive, went on television yesterday to tell viewers -- particularly in the Baltimore region -- that he wants to be Maryland's next governor.

Mostly, though, Mr. Glendening went on TV just to make sure that voters who have not heard of him learn his name.

Call it an expensive introduction.

His campaign aides refuse to say precisely how much they are spending on the ad, except to say the cost of the TV air time alone is in "six figures," and production costs will probably add another $50,000 or so.

The 60-second spot, which is scheduled to run as many as nine times a day for at least the next seven days, begins with the gray-haired, bespectacled former college professor shaking hands with voters at the Inner Harbor and along the streets of Baltimore.

"Hi, I'm Parris Glendening. I'm running for governor," the candidate repeats several times. Seconds later, two women -- who are actually campaign volunteers drafted for cameo roles in the ad -- have this exchange:

"Parris? Is that a place or a person?" asks one woman.

"I don't know," replies the other, smiling.

If viewers get nothing from the ad but a recognition of Mr. Glendening's name, campaign aides say they will be pleased. "There is no question we need to build on his name identification, particularly in the Baltimore market," said campaign manager Emily Smith.

The ad is the first to be aired by a gubernatorial candidate in Maryland this election year.

Ms. Smith said the Glendening campaign decided "months ago" to begin their TV campaign around the first of June.

The ad, put together by the Washington political media firm of Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Associates, was shot in Prince George's County and in Baltimore on May 20.

It depicts Mr. Glendening, 51, as a family man, and shows him reading to schoolchildren, moving among workers in a machine shop, and talking with policemen.

In resume fashion, it briefly introduces him as a former University of Maryland teacher and Hyattsville police commissioner. Of his dozen years as county executive, the ad credits Mr. Glendening for improving the county's economy and boosting average family income. It also notes he expanded the police force by 40 percent.

The ad ends with a scene of Mr. Glendening campaigning along Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who introduces him to an older woman as Maryland's next governor.

"I hope you can get it," the woman tells Mr. Glendening. "You look like an awfully nice-looking man."

Mr. Schmoke laughs and breaks into a broad grin. "There you go, there you go," he says, and the ad ends.

In addition to the Baltimore TV market, Ms. Smith said the ad also will run on cable channels in the Washington area and in some rural parts of the state.

Mr. Glendening's opponents for the Sept. 13 Democratic primary include Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg of Baltimore County; state Sen. American Joe Miedusiewski of Baltimore; state Sen. Mary H. Boergers of Montgomery County; Lawrence K. Freeman of Baltimore, a follower of Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.; and Don Allensworth of Hagerstown, a former college professor.

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