Guttenberg commercial airing on major networks

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In the co-op advertisement produced by OnMedia, Kevin and Rabecca Hennessey show viewers one example of all there is to do in Guttenberg. The commercial will air through November on major networks in northeast Iowa and parts of Wisconsin. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

“People say all we do is farm,” says a young woman fishing on a set of docks. “They say there’s nothing to do here,” a couple kayaking tells the camera. “And all we grow is corn,” smiles a woman walking through grape vines with a glass of wine. “We’re in the right place to make memories,” say a group of campers enjoying a fire. “Come see our view in Guttenberg, Iowa,” a young family suggests, standing on the levee with the mighty Mississippi flowing past. 

This commercial highlighting Guttenberg’s businesses and attractions is now airing on many major television stations. “The goal of the commercial is to show off our community, its businesses, and the great things that can be experienced in Guttenberg,” explained GD&T director Emily Moser, who coordinated the production of the new advertisement. “We want to get people to come to our town, spend money and give a boost to our local businesses, enjoy themselves, and come back in the future.”

In June, GD&T member businesses were presented with the opportunity to participate in this cooperative advertisement. “Co-op advertising allows each business maximum exposure at a minimal expense. If each business were to make their own individual commercials, they could spend thousands of dollars to run the commercial for a fraction of the time that this commercial is running. By coming together for co-op advertising, the contributing businesses get great exposure at a reduced cost, and help to promote the whole community of Guttenberg as a destination. Co-op advertising with this commercial is meant to target potential visitors and those already living in the area, to bring new customers to local businesses,” Moser told The Press.

The commercial will air 1,785 times throughout the months of August – November. The total cost of production and airtime is over $6,000 – a cost which would be prohibitive to most small businesses in Guttenberg. Splitting the expense between 12 local businesses made it much more manageable and enticing to those who participated. 

Peoples State Bank, Ideal Decorating, PromiseLand Winery, Brown's Sales & Leasing, Riverside Grind, Blooming Branches Floral & Gifts, Shepherd Gallery & Creativity Center, Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, Guttenberg RV Park, River's Edge Bakery, Sodes Bar & Grill, and Murray's Outdoor Store are all visible in the 30-second commercial, which is now airing on CNBC, Lifetime, Nick, the Food Network, HGTV, the Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, and Fox News. Mediacom customers in northeast Iowa, including Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Iowa City, and portions of Wisconsin, may see the commercial anytime during the day, 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. It’s also available online for watching on demand. The full commercial is posted on guttenbergiowa.net, claytoncountyiowa.com, and traveliowa.com, as well as on Travel Iowa's Youtube account. The participating businesses have the file to include on their websites and social media pages, and Moser is able to send the file to any other businesses who would like to include it online. 

“We've had almost 7,000 views of the commercial on GD&T's Facebook page, and around 2,300 on my personal page,” said Moser, noting that the video also has over 100 shares. “Facebook viewers have had lots of positive comments on the video – how great it is for Guttenberg, how much they love the town, etc. People have shared the video, tagging their friends and encouraging them to visit Guttenberg.” Viewers have expressed their excitement at seeing their hometown, commenting, "The town and activities look great. Brings back memories, and would love to visit again. It's been many years since my last visit," and "Looks quaint, makes me want to visit." 

Positive reactions from viewers aren’t all Moser expects from the commercial. “We're hoping for an influx of visitors this fall because of the commercial,” she said. OnMedia, who produced the ad, will edit it to include fall scenery as the weather begins to change.

“It was difficult to figure out how to make one commercial that seamlessly fit together so many different businesses and other activities to enjoy in Guttenberg that weren't necessarily associated with a business,” Moser explained. “Because we only had thirty seconds, time was also a big challenge. We wanted to make sure every contributing business got screen time and had their names shown on screen.”

The idea for the project and the premise of the commercial came from Jon Scherbring, co-owner of Ideal Decorating. Scherbring wanted to address stereotypes about this part of the country and state in a funny, eye opening way – to make people say, "Wow, there's so much more there than I thought!" 

With that idea in mind, an OnMedia representative worked up a script that included all of the participating businesses and several outdoor activities in Guttenberg. “Because the businesses were all contributing to make this project possible, we wanted to make sure they were happy with their part and their script, so they were all sent the proposed ad copy. Some changes were made to accommodate the participants, and then it was time to shoot footage for the commercial,” said Moser, who spent a long day running with the film crew between participating businesses to capture all of the shots needed to make the commercial into what was envisioned. 

“I was really excited when they sent me the commercial for approval, but nervous about what the participants would think. For the most part, the businesses loved the commercial – just a few changes were made before it went to air,” Moser explained. “I'm quite proud of the commercial and I think it's a great piece for promoting Guttenberg.” 

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