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Shooting starts on new PO TV commercial

Shooting began last weekend on a 30-second spot promoting Port Orchard to potential tourists all over the Northwest.

Snohomish-based Morris Media, which was hired by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce to oversee production of the spot, wrapped local children, Seemore the Seagull and waterfront shots into the commercial, which still needs editing and polishing before it hits the airwaves. The commercial, which was inspired by a similar tourism-boost program undertaken by Grays Harbor, is intended to help increase South Kitsap’s visibility — a major issue when trying to draw visitors.

Chamber member Brian Pitro, who has been the main force behind the project, said SOuth Kitsap often gets overlooked in favor of better-known destinations such as Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. When the chamber found out how cheap television air time can be — anything between $40 to $100 for a 30-second spot — they decided to invest $15,000 in making and airing a commercial touting South Kitsap as the ideal tourist destination.

“It will be like creating a new image for a town with over 100 years of history, said Terry J. LaBrue of LaBrue Communica-tions — the company hired to actually make the commercial.

The project is being partly funded through a grant program under the state Department of Tourism and Economic Development. The program offered the chamber $10,000 in matching funds to help promote the area. The state match comes in the form of paid air time on three networks — KING, KONG and Northwest Cable News.

Northwest Cable News is a particularly plum offer, Pitro said, because it reaches all the way out to western Montana and offers the best chance of attracting out-of-the-area interest in South Kitsap.

The ad will be used to promote upcoming local events such as the Festival by the Bay. The placement of the ads will be tailored to the events promoted to make sure the people who see the commercial will be the ones most likely to be interested in its content. The chamber will also be meeting with local merchants to make sure they’re equipped to guide future tourists to local attractions, thereby completing the circle of community involvement.

Pitro is very optimistic the ads will bring in much-needed tourism revenue and make Port Orchard more of household name all over the Northwest.

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