San Diego embarks on marketing campaign

SAN DIEGO: Downtown San Diego is launching its first national marketing campaign to show that?s there more to the city than its world-famous zoo.

SAN DIEGO: Downtown San Diego is launching its first national marketing campaign to show that?s there more to the city than its world-famous zoo.

"The timing couldn?t be better,? said Jack Berkman, president and CEO of Berkman Communications, as San Diego is also generating headlines for all the wrong reasons these days.

The city is mired in a never-ending series of political and financial scandals, involving everything from a $1.4 billion pension deficit to council members being convicted of taking campaign contributions from a strip-club owner, who wanted the city to revoke a law banning patrons from touching dancers.

While the Gaslamp Quarter Association ? the business improvement organization for the downtown?s historic district ? didn?t launch the campaign in response to the scandals, Berkman admits the timing is fortuitous.

?I?ve talked to too many people who have no idea what is in our downtown other than nice weather and the zoo, and the zoo isn?t that close to the downtown,? said Berkman, whose agency is driving the campaign.

The campaign will reach out to travel, lifestyle, in-flight, and other media nationally, with a strong focus on the West. Other components include online marketing and advertising.

The campaign will promote the arts, entertainment, and culture of San Diego?s downtown, from its restaurants and shopping to nearby Petco Park, home of the Padres.

?We really want to show how much we?ve grown as a downtown,? said Jimmy Parker, executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Association. ?There?s an urban center that we want people to see beyond our beaches and zoo.?

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