Sunday, December 19, 2010

Much Ado About Goomsba

To the editor:

The December 15, 2010 issue of The Leavenworth Echo featured a great cover story by Nevonne McDaniels on the Woody Goomsba promotional video. It was a balanced, objective treatment of a subject that occasionally lends itself to controversy: the art and science of advertising.

Of course, once I read the story, I had to check out the video. My impression? The video is very creative, and Howell at the Moon Productions should be congratulated on a job well done. However, some fuddy-duddies in the Bavarian Village are not so easily impressed. But “outrage” concerning “damage done to Leavenworth’s reputation as a family destination?” And “scantily clad women?” Let’s not go overboard here. These folks need to lighten up.

As someone who has worked in the field of advertising, promotion and media relations for over 30 years, I can tell you that advertising professionals walk a fine line in communicating their messages. First and foremost, advertisements must be creative enough to grab attention; but they cannot be boring or -- by and large -- offensive.

The key to effective advertising, however, is whether the messages communicated reached the intended target audience, in this case, the under-30 crowd. Hate to break it to some of the folks on the Leavenworth Area Promotions committee, but they are not the intended audience for the video. At least one member of the committee readily admits that fact: “To be honest…I don’t click on Facebook and those kinds of things.”

So, did the Woody Goomsba video attract the attention of its target audience in a creative way? With nearly 150,000 hits as I write this letter, I’d say “yes.” The media attention generated by the promotional video is clearly a bonus.

My hat is off to the innovative members of the LAP committee for taking a creative approach to reach an untapped audience, one that will be vital in an effort to sustain economic development in the Bavarian Village and vicinity into the future. As for the negative reaction, just remember that opinions are like birthdays: everybody has one, especially when it comes to advertising.

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