Coop ad opportunity supports new local commercial

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Shannon Murphy, left, and Ann Durscher led a discussion with Guttenberg businesses about a cooperative advertising opportunity to promote Guttenberg during the 2016 tourist season. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg Development & Tourism, soon to be known as Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce, is once again offering an opportunity for cooperative television advertising to its members. Last year’s commercial, which aired 1,785 times throughout the months of August – November, also garnered 8,000 views online – enough to encourage repeat participants and attract the interest of new ones. 

The commercial is cooperatively purchased by participating GD&T members for the purpose of attracting tourists and promoting the community as a destination. Representatives from Alpine Communications, PromiseLand Winery, Guttenberg Care Center and Eagle Ridge Independent and Assisted Living, Sode’s Green Acre Country Market and Café, Community Saving Bank, Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center, and Brown’s Sales and Leasing gathered last week for a presentation about another Guttenberg commercial project from Shannon Murphy of OnMedia and Ann Durscher of ICAN. The pair shared information about their markets and networks, as well as the networks of Spectrum Reach, levels of financial investment required, and examples of commercials produced for other communities.

Members discussed the ways to get the most value for their dollars spent on the commercial, which will require a $650 investment paid in monthly increments of $109 during the run of the commercial in May through early October. More businesses joining the coop would mean more potential exposure and reach for the commercial.

“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 last year’s 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.”

Beth Sadewasser, owner of the soon-to-open Sode’s Green Acre Country Market and Café, expressed a common opinion. “I like the idea that we promote the whole town, but I myself would like to have a commercial that’s more focused on my business, too.”  

Discussion was held on ways to accomplish both goals, including breaking the 30-second commercial up into two parts. "The first five seconds and the last five seconds will be all about Guttenberg and visuals of the area. The middle set will include two 10-second pieces featuring a local business that participates in the program. In most cases there will be visual features of the business with a professional voiceover in the background talking about each business," said Murphy. "After speaking with our production manager we were able to come to a $75 cost/business for the commercial production that will include what we call a donut commercial. Therefore you’d be looking at a total investment per business of $725 for the six month campaign." 

Questions were also raised about how the reach of the commercial will be tracked. The ad would direct viewers to GD&T’s website, and website hits will be monitored for visitor’s locations, which pages they viewed, and what links were clicked. 

“I spend a lot of money on advertising and the questions asked about tracking are what we wrestle with constantly. It is very difficult to put a definitive answer on how customers are brought in, but it’s things like these commercials that keep the ball rolling and building more momentum, whether visitors end up at Lakeside or PromiseLand, walking down the streets, going fishing or camping,” said Dave Brown of Brown’s Sales and Leasing, who is also a member of the GD&T board. “It’s worked well for me and I’ve heard a lot of good comments on [last year’s commercial], and I hope it worked equally well for other people. It’s a snowball effect on the popularity of Guttenberg and the economic development of our whole town.”

While last year’s commercial was visible only to Mediacom television customers, ICAN (representing Alpine Communications) and OnMedia will work together this year to reach more viewers. The commercial will be directed toward networks viewed by women ages 30-64, who studies show are making travel decisions for their families. Last year’s networks included CNBC, Lifetime, Nick, the Food Network, HGTV, the Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, and Fox News. Markets for this year’s campaign could include Dubuque, Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, eastern Wisconsin and southern Minnesota, and other areas across the state of Iowa. 

The GD&T board invites interested businesses to contact Emily Moser, director, with questions or to confirm participation by April 29, and reminds members that promoting the community as a whole benefits each business making dollars go farther to invite new visitors to experience all Guttenberg has to offer.

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