By Rick Griffin
The campaign includes TV, radio, print, outdoor and social media ads featuring actor David Hasselhoff, who played “Mitch Buchannon,” an All-American, Los Angeles County beach lifeguard on the old “Baywatch” TV series.
The campaign’s creative content center around recasting Valley Center, CA, site of Harrah’s, as Funner, CA., with Hasselhoff as the “official” mayor of Funner. Hotel reservations can be reserved at www.VisitFunner.com.
The TV spots, airing in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Riverside, feature Mayor Hasselhoff showcasing what being funner is all about. Other spots are spoofs on Spanish-language telenovelas, and a heavy-metal ventriloquist.
According to Ryan Berman, i.d.e.a. co-founder and chief creative officer, the plot of land along State Route 76 that Harrah’s sits on is now legally renamed Funner, complete with online navigation and directional road signs. “When you’re launching a destination called ‘Funner,’ you have to provide a magical journey of fun,” said Berman. “We gave an attitude its own address.”
“We couldn’t be happier about the continued evolution of our brand, thanks to our partnership with i.d.e.a and the creation of Funner, CA,” said Darrell Pilant, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Resort Southern California. “The creativity, collaboration and support they continue to provide have helped transform our resort in both marketing and operations, not just a typical advertising campaign.”
Harrah’s Resort, a AAA Four-Diamond award-winning resort with 1,065 guest rooms, is an enterprise owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians.
Coinciding with the ad campaign for Harrah’s is a new “Baywatch” motion picture from Paramount. The movie opened over Memorial Day weekend and finished in third place behind “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in second and Disney’s fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which landed atop the ratings pile.
91X’s X-Fest Concert Festival on June 11
91X, XETRA 91.1-FM will present X-Fest 2017, its annual summer concert festival starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at the Qualcomm Stadium practice field in Mission Valley. Ten bands are scheduled to perform on two stages. The bands include Phoenix, Empire of the Sun, Bob Moses, K.Flay, Missio, The Lemon Twigs, Sir Sly, Lo Moon, Creature Canyon and Lightning Cola.
Additional festival entertainment will include inflatable games, a skateboard half-pipe, virtual reality experiences, free body paint, live art and multiple food and beverage options. Admission begins at $55 per person. For details, visit www.91x.com.
Station officials recently announced that 500 free tickets will be donated to the San Diego Military Family Collaborative for family members of active military personnel serving away from home. For free tickets, visit www.sdmilitaryfamily.org.
“San Diego has such a strong military community, we see and appreciate the sacrifice the members and their families go through,” said Tommy Hough, 91X morning show host. “We hope free tickets to enjoy X-Fest will offer a bit of joy, relief and a day to remember.”
91X is owned by Local Media San Diego LLC, a San Diego-based broadcasting company backed by private equity firm, Thoma Bravo LLC. The company also operates Z90.3 Z90 (XHTZ 90.3-FM) and Magic 92.5 (XHRM 92.5-FM).
(W)right On Communications Opens Los Angeles Office
(W)right On Communications, a Solana Beach public relations agency, has expanded operations and opened a new office in downtown Los Angeles. The agency said it is seeking team members to staff the new office.
“Downtown LA provides easy and centralized access to client partners all over the Los Angeles region and the downtown continues to undergo a vibrant resurgence,” said Grant Wright, CEO and managing partner. “We are excited to be in the heart of it all at Bunker Hill’s Gas Tower. A number of our San Diego-based client partners also do business and have operations in the Los Angeles area, so this is a natural progression to ensure the agency best meets their and future partners’ needs.”
The agency said it will also continue to operate an office in Vancouver, Canada. (W)right On Communications was founded by Julie Wright in 1998 in Vancouver and expanded to San Diego in 2000, where it is now headquartered. Grant Wright was named company CEO in 2004. The firm has clients in the business-to-business, energy, healthcare, hospitality, infrastructure development, nonprofit, professional services, technology, manufacturing and clean tech sectors.
Greg Joumas, Known for Jack in the Box TV Commercials, Dead at 54
Creative advertising genius Greg Joumas, known for enhancing the development of the “Jack” character in TV commercials for the San Diego-based Jack in the Box restaurant chain, has passed away. He was 54. A memorial mass with his cremated remains will be held June 24 at St. Mary Catholic Church, 30 South Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak, MI.
A sister, Barbara Arnold of Brown City, MI, said Joumas died of natural causes. He was seen at his Olivenhain home picking up the Sunday newspaper on May 7. He was found deceased in bed on May 9.
He graduated from Dondero High School in Royal Oak (class of 1980), followed by earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University. His career included working in advertising positions with ad agencies and companies in Southfield, MI, Chicago, San Francisco and then in San Diego.
Joumas joined Jack in the Box in June 1999 as division vice president of advertising and marketing communications and held that title until he left the company in October 2009. Although the “Jack” character returned to advertising campaigns in 1995, Jack in the Box officials confirm that Joumas was instrumental in overseeing the award-winning advertising campaign during his decade with the company.
He was youngest of five siblings. He is survived by sister Barbara and brothers George of Scottsdale, AZ; Ray of Haymarket, VA.; Ray of Concord, MA, and numerous nieces and nephews. Greg’s wife, Lisa, passed away at age 49 in May 2013.
In San Diego, Joumas served as president, chairman and chairman emeritus of SDX, formerly the San Diego Advertising Club. He joined the ad club board of directors in 2006 and served as president in 2008.
Joumas was a 2008 recipient of the Silver Medal Award, a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to the advertising industry, from the American Advertising Federation, a national advertising industry trade group. He also served as a judge for several advertising competitions, including Effie Worldwide.
“Greg had friends in the advertising industry all around the country,” said Sheila Fox of Fox Marketing Network and former SDX executive director. “He was the guy who brought such high-profile personalities as Dan Wieden (Wieden + Kennedy), Jeff Goodby (Goodby Silverstein & Partners) and Mike Hughes (Martin Agency) to San Diego for unforgettable evenings of conversation as part of the Ad Club’s Legends Series. Greg loved being part of the Ad Club board and creating events to bring together the advertising community here in San Diego. He also enjoyed mentoring the young up-and-comers from Ad 2 San Diego and helping to shape their careers.”
After Jack in the Box, Joumas consulted in various advertising roles. In 2010, he joined Bailey Gardiner as senior vice president of client services and then transitioned into the same position when the agency changed its name to i.d.e.a. He left i.d.e.a. in 2012.
“Greg was a consummate ad man,” said Jon Bailey, founder and chief relationship officer of i.d.e.a. “His experiences working on brands like Jack in the Box, Jeep, Kia, Little Caesar’s and more all led to a remarkable repertoire of stories from around the world. Enormously affable and likeable, Greg was respected for his career accomplishments and particularly for his willingness to share his expertise and mentor young professionals getting started in the advertising business. He led the San Diego Ad Club as president of the board for two important years, bringing the organization much-deserved national acclaim and notice. He will be greatly missed as friend and colleague to many.”
Joumas also served on the board of several community nonprofits, including the Century Club, host of San Diego’s annual PGA golf tournament, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
“Greg joined our board of trustees in 2010 and he generously gave of his time and treasure to improve the lives of those affected by multiple sclerosis,” said Richard Israel, chapter president of the National MS Society in San Diego. “His empathy ran deep for people facing difficulties.”
The family requested that memorial donations be sent to the San Diego Advertising Fund for Emergencies. SAFE is a volunteer, non-profit organization providing confidential financial assistance to San Diego-area advertising and marketing professionals and their families facing a life crisis emergency.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.
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