Last season was a banner By Maddy VitaleThe Ocean City Tourism Development Commission will roll out a marketing campaign that shines a spotlight on all that makes the resort a vacation destination not only for families, but also millennials. There are plenty of reasons why people would want to come to the beach town, Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian noted at the beginning of the commission meeting Thursday. For one, it was named “America’s Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living magazine just last year. The commission focuses on the Philadelphia market to attract tourists. Philadelphia is the fourth largest market in the country with about 4 million people, behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.The campaign will start at the beginning of February and extend through June with the focus on both traditional and digital forms of advertising, including cable, online, television, billboards and print. As in last year, Ocean City is making a bigger push to market to millennials as the centerpiece of the marketing plan. Topics of discussion among the commission included hotel occupancy, weekly and weekend seasonal rentals.www.youtube.com/channel/UCObjoIf9JLzgsap1A0g4B4QHotel owners and realtors on the board agreed that about 50 percent of the vacationers book their vacations ahead of time. The goal of the marketing plan is to draw the other 50 percent and really showcase the beaches, Boardwalk, shops, eateries and family-friendly entertainment.Holiday crowds stroll the Boardwalk on the 2018 Labor Day weekend.About $230,000 is dedicated to the marketing campaign out of an approximately $620,000 tourism budget for 2019. However, Gillian said, should more funds become available, that number may increase.Ocean City is in an ideal location geographically to influence many travelers, officials emphasized. “It is important that we are out there with the brand,” Gillian noted. “We should be on the soft stations, HGTV, the Food Network, Travel Channel, Hallmark. They are all prime time and the morning news.”The commission heard from Rick Jones, of Universal Media, about how he will help Ocean City continue an aggressive marketing campaign through the use of traditional forms of marketing. Jones recapped some of 2018 and worked with the commission to set up a calendar of weeks for the campaign commercials to supplement the billboard and online advertising, which continues throughout the TV and cable spots.Some members discussed how roughly half the people who book their vacations to Ocean City do so well in advance of their intended arrival. The target audience should be the other 50 percent, they maintained. The commission agreed on dates to start the advertising campaign in various weeks from February through June. Danny Dierdorff, left, and Rick Jones, both of Universal Media based in Mechanicsburg, Pa., look over their marketing propposal for 2019 outside Council Chambers.There was also discussion about tapping into areas of North Jersey, brought up by commission member Wes Kazmarck, who represents the Boardwalk merchants. Commission Chairman Burton Wilkins said that is something the commission could look into more closely.However, Jones stressed that the cost of advertising in the New York market, which starts in Monmouth County, may not be the best way to spend the commission dollars. Traditionally, vacationers come from the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets.In addition to money set aside for traditional marketing, there was a report about a trial run of advertising on YouTube last year, marketing to millennials and children. Danny Dierdorff, also of Universal Media, gave a presentation. The focus in the 2018 trial was to attract millennials, ages 25-44, and kid-specific groups. Last year, the commission authorized some funding, about $30,000, for the advertising.This year, officials said they will discuss it further and come back with a decision at a later meeting.Dierdorff explained that the number of views of the advertisements was proof that they are having success hitting the target groups of millennials and child.“This is such an important emerging media,” Jones noted after Dierdorff’s presentation. “It supports our traditional marketing strategy.” Gillian said she agrees that YouTube is a good form of advertising and it would add to the already integral forms of marketing utilized through the campaign.
Bakery ingredients firm Macphie of Glenbervie has been given funding for a research project to look at the use of sound waves in cooking.The Scottish firm is said to have been awarded £500k, from a government funding pot of £7m, to lead a project with several other firms, looking at employing ultrasound in bakery to produce healthier products.Partnering Macphie in the project will be Mono Bakery Equipment, Fosters Bakery, Piezo Composite Transducers and Heriot-Watt University.The funding will come from the Technology Strategy Board, with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, Defra and Scottish Enterprise.The funds have been split between more than 50 research projects and studies, aimed at developing healthier, safer and more nutritious food. These projects include: formulation technologies to enable the reduction of fat and salt in food products, and the identification and development of functional foods that improve heart health.The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body, which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. read more