SEPTEMBER 10, 2010 | Fairfield County Business Journal
Bridgeport starts TV campaign
In an attempt to re-spin its image and draw more visitors from other areas of Connecticut, Bridgeport has started a new campaign, “Surprise, It’s Bridgeport.”
The first sighting of what is a $350,000 advertising program features a minute-long commercial in which elements of an unnamed city are listed. The city is finally revealed as Bridgeport by Mayor Bill Finch standing in waders and fly fishing at Beardsley Park in the Pequonnock River.
“Bridgeport, I think needs some good news and Bridgeport needs to rally around what it’s proud of,” Finch said. “We always need people coming here and spending money in our city. This is a general ad to improve the image of the city and give people some reasons to be proud.”
The video, a professional work to be sure, shows tourist attractions, including the zoo, the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team and Captain’s Cove Marina.
President and creative director of Fizz in Bridgeport, kHyal (whose name is trademarked) said Bridgeport is a city with a lot of culture that has struggled with its image for a long time. She said there is a large artistic community in Bridgeport that sees the city as “Connecticut’s Brooklyn,” speaking in reference to the New York City borough’s well-known cultural and commercial revival.
According to Bridgeport City Hall the city has not released a self promotion campaign for 12 years, since Joseph Ganim was mayor.
Paul Timpanelli, president and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, which is paying $100,000 of the cost said Bridgeport invested $240,000 in the campaign, which will run for a month and a half on Comcast and Cablevision television services that reach about one-third of the state.
The video’s production, the $108,000 worth of airtime purchased and print-media buy, was contracted to Bob Abbate Marketing in Bridgeport and Southport-based Turbine advertising company.
Timpanelli, who had been working on the campaign for three months, said the mayor’s office sees it as vital to people within the region to think differently about Bridgeport, as a place that has positive things happening, and positive attributes.
“Many people here are the early settlers,” kHyal said. “It’s certainly not Brooklyn yet but this is something that a lot of people see and are starting to see. There’s a lot of opportunity.”
An American Institute of Graphic Arts award-winning designer and creative director, kHyal, said Bridgeport’s burgeoning creative culture is suddenly part of a popular trend in culture with urban creativeness at its center.
“That’s always been here but now that its trendy there are more possibilities now,” kHyal said.
“There’s more commercial application to the creative views, and much of what we have here already in Bridgeport. I think the new advertising did a good job on touching on that.”
She called the recent video campaign by the city a baby step in the right direction for the image of Bridgeport.
“You have to put yourself out there,” kHyal said. “That’s a great first step, now we have to live up to it. There is a large barrier between Fairfield’s Post Road and the Black Rock side. We have to get the buying population over that hurdle if we want the commerce to come here.”
According to kHyal education is another major component to the future of the city.
“We have a major university, University of Bridgeport here that has a new technology incubator program,” kHyal said. “There is a lot of potential with space here for businesses and technology startups to grow.”
See the full article on the Fairfield County Business Journal website.