Guttenberg commercial to highlight local attractions

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An opportunity to participate in affordable TV advertising is on the table for Guttenberg organizations. Clockwise from left are Molly Moser, Emily Moser, Dave Brown, Jon Scherbring, Amy Ries and presenter Shannon Murphy with OnMedia Precision TV Advertising. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Iowa is flat, a never-ending field of corn (or is it potatoes?) where all the people live on farms and wear flannel. As Iowans, we know statements like this are often made and only sometimes true – but what do we believe about our native state? Are we aware of all the entertainment and cultural opportunities in our own back yards?

A new commercial highlighting life in Guttenberg aims to challenge popular beliefs about small town Iowa. Last week Shannon Murphy, account executive with OnMedia Precision TV Advertising, presented an inexpensive option to Guttenberg business owners for sparking interest in Guttenberg and enticing visitors from nearby counties in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. 

Murphy has partnered with Guttenberg Development and Tourism Director Emily Moser and Ideal Decorating owner Jon Scherbring to make television advertising affordable for local groups and businesses. Known as the Guttenberg Seasonal AdShare, Murphy's package consists of 2,340 runs of a 30-second commercial on recognizable networks like the Travel Channel, Hallmark, HGTV, the Food Network, the History Channel, Nickelodeon, Fox News, TBS, the Weather Channel, CNBC, Lifetime, and others. 

Murphy explained that during the chosen time period, likely July through November, the commercial will run at least three times per day between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight. Parts of Clayton, Chickasaw, Bremer, Buchanan, Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Cedar, Linn, Jones, Delaware, Dubuque, and Allamakee counties in Iowa, as well as Crawford, Richland, and Grant counties in Wisconsin and Joe Daviess and Lafayette counties in Illinois are within the commercial’s area of influence, including cities like Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Anamosa, Iowa City, Platteville, and Dubuque. 

“We want to get people to realize they don’t have to go far to go somewhere good,” Scherbring explained. 

The total investment required for the commercial to be made and run in the above markets is an estimated $1,560 per month. That cost would be split among any Guttenberg businesses that decide to participate, and those participants would be given access to the commercial to share on their websites and social media outlets – creating an even further reach for the advertisement. 

Scherbring brought the idea to Moser, who invited Murphy to present to GD&T members on Monday evening, June 8. “I own Ideal Decorating. I don’t think my business is going to draw someone to Guttenberg on its own, but the more people that visit, the more benefit to me,” Scherbring explained to the small group that met on Monday. “Why not figure out a way to make it benefit the whole community?”

Representatives from PromiseLand Winery, Brown’s Sales and Leasing, Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center, as well as Scherbring on behalf of Ideal Decorating, were in attendance and expressed support for the ad campaign. Murphy described the target audience of the commercials as females 55 and over, who often make weekend travel decisions for their families and have more disposable income than other groups. 

Discussion of what the commercial might feature included attractions like the golf course, winery, Mississippi River and marinas, the ferry, music in the park, local bed and breakfasts, the historic downtown, shops and restaurants, and stargazing at one of Guttenberg’s many campgrounds – all experiences that create lasting memories. The commercial could be updated with fall photography when autumn arrives, and could also include shots of the individual businesses who pitch in.

Scherbring emphasized that what’s good for one local business is good for all. “If everybody’s making money in town, they might buy a new couch, or a new car,” he offered as an example. 

Business owner Dave Brown aptly summarized the concept of the project and the spirit of community it represents. “Maybe visitors come to town for one thing, and end up doing three or four things.”

The more participants in the campaign, the smaller the cost for all involved. Organizers have set a goal of recruiting 15 advertisers, making the cost just over $100 per month for each participating business. To sign up or request more information, contact Emily Moser at the Guttenberg Welcome Center by calling (563) 252-2323 or emailing In order to capture the largest summer and fall audience, the commitment deadline has been set as Friday, June 19, by 5:00 p.m. 

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