By Donald Wittkowski
These would not be your father’s or grandfather’s types of commercials.
They promise to be exciting, fast-paced and perhaps even a bit edgy when they make their debut in 2020.
A series of web commercials that are part of the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization’s social media campaign will market the beach resort to a much younger demographic.
“We want these commercials to be very upbeat and fast-paced,” Chamber board member Brian Heritage said while noting that the target audience would be 18 to 35-year-olds.
Heritage, owner of Heritage Surf & Sport, said the Chamber also plans to develop a new marketing slogan – one that he would like to be “cutting edge and risky” – to complement the commercials.
“We want to approach this differently from the typical mom and pop tourism commercials,” Heritage told the Chamber board members during their meeting Tuesday.
As part of its expanded social media campaign, the Chamber hopes to attract more day-trippers to town to fill in a lull in business during the slower weekdays. The Chamber would like to tap more visitors who live in the South Jersey region and are within a relatively easy hour or 90-minute drive to Sea Isle.
Just three months ago, the Chamber revealed plans to collaborate with the campgrounds in the neighboring mainland communities for shuttle service to bring more of their customers to Sea Isle for day trips. Final details are still being worked out for the schedules and routes for the shuttles.
Separately, the Chamber also has plans for a TV commercial and a series of web commercials starting in 2020 to promote tourism. Some of the web commercials, though, might be launched as early as this summer, the Chamber indicated.
Chamber officials said the commercials will showcase the restaurants, shops and other attractions in town, but in a way that would distinguish Sea Isle from other shore resorts.
“It’s an approach we need to take to make us a little different than everyone else,” Heritage said.
Heritage described Sea Isle as a “jewel” of the Jersey Shore, but added that not all vacationers are aware of its attractions. The web and TV commercials, he pointed out, will be a key part of the Chamber’s efforts to broaden Sea Isle’s appeal, particularly to a younger demographic.
“There’s a lot happening here,” he said. “This is a jewel. We have everything.”
Mike Monichetti, a Chamber member and Sea Isle restaurant owner, strongly suggested that the web commercials should also target older demographic groups, not just the younger crowds.
“I think we need to get everybody here. We should slide the demographic up to 50 years old,” said Monichetti, owner of Mike’s Seafood & Dock Restaurant.
Monichetti believes the commercials should feature Sea Isle’s bar, restaurant and retail scene, along with shore-type activities such as kayaking and windsurfing.
“People want to have fun. They want to eat and drink,” Monichetti told the Chamber’s board members.
Sea Isle has a lively bar, nightclub and restaurant atmosphere. The city also markets itself to young families through a series of kid-friendly events in the spring, summer and even part of the fall.
Mickey Coskey, the Chamber’s marketing consultant, proposed narrowing down the commercials to focus on Sea Isle’s best-known attractions.
“What is iconic about Sea Isle?” Coskey asked the Chamber’s board members.
Christopher Glancey, the Chamber’s president, said Sea Isle’s restaurants are top-notch and definitely should be showcased in the commercials.
“Let’s sell the dining,” he said.
Glancey said he often boasts that Sea Isle is “the restaurant capital of Cape May County.”