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MarketInk: San Diego County Fair Aided by Record-High $1 Million Ad Budget

BusinessMarketInk: San Diego County Fair Aided by Record-High $1 Million Ad Budget

2022 San Diego County Fair opening day.2022 San Diego County Fair opening day. Photo by Chris Stone

The 22nd District Agricultural Association, operator of the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds, is spending a record $1 million in advertising to promote this summer’s 21-day San Diego County Fair, currently underway until July 4.

The 2022 fair’s ad campaign, which began in mid-May and will conclude when the fair ends, includes television, radio and streaming audio, outdoor, print, digital and social media. Target audience includes residents of San Diego County, Temecula and Northern Baja California and Tijuana.

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The overall campaign is expected to generate nearly 80 million impressions, officials said.

Unlike previous years, media buying services for the 2022 fair were outsourced to Loma Media, according to Jennifer Hellman, marketing director, Del Mar Fairgrounds.

“As long as I’ve been at the Fairgrounds, we’ve operated as a mini in-house agency of sorts, placing ads ourselves and doing the great majority of our own creative,” Hellman told Times of San Diego. “While the Fairgrounds is in a much stronger position than we were even just a few months ago, our staffing is still really limited after laying off so much of our team with the financial fallout from the pandemic.”

According to Loma Media, more than 30% of all advertising dollars will be targeted at the Hispanic market, and half of it with Spanish-language media. In addition, more than one third of the overall advertising buy will be spent on TV and radio commercials.

Outdoor advertising will include bus-side panels from wheel-well to wheel-well, bus panels on one side of the bus, freeway and service-street billboards and a digital billboard near the international border.

Print advertising will include four-color display and website ads in The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Night&Day and Espanol editions, San Diego Magazine and the San Diego Reader.

Publicity value generated by news coverage and live broadcasts is expected to exceed $3 million. A variety of concert and general admission ticket giveaways are being offered on more than 20 radio and TV stations.

“The Fair’s 2022 multi-media, bilingual marketing campaign combines an innovative focus on digital outreach in tandem with a host of ‘tried-and-true’ traditional tactics,” said Erin Satterburg, vice president of client engagement, Loma Media.

The 2022 fair, the first full-scale fair since 2019, follows a two-year hiatus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 fair was cancelled.

The 2022 fair’s advertising budget is a far cry from 2021, when a total of about $50,000 was spent on a smaller-scale, pandemic-affected fair that limited attendance and required face masks for all guests, ages 2 and up. Last year’s ad dollars were allocated to digital, including emails, social media and banner ads, along with some radio.

Fair officials said advertising expenditures from previous years were: $777,000 (2019); $765,000 (2018); $763,000 (2017); $759,000 (2016); $763,000 (2015).

The San Diego County Fair began as an agricultural fair in 1880 in National City. It was held in several locations before moving to the Del Mar Fairgrounds in 1936 with an 11-day run which began on Oct. 8, 1936, and drew 50,000 people.

The fair was suspended in 1942 for World War II when the fairgrounds site was used for war-related training and manufacturing. The fair resumed in 1946 and continued until the COVID-19 pandemic.

San Diego Foundation Re-Brands Itself

The San Diego Foundation, a local private philanthropic organization that manages trust funds of charities and nonprofits and funds grants for certain philanthropic causes, has a new logo and redesigned website at SDFoundation.org.

In a 3:58 video, Mark Stuart, San Diego Foundation president and CEO, stated, “Last year, when the foundation adopted a new mission, vision and strategic plan, we realized that our 22-year-old brand no longer reflected our future direction. People, partners and community are the heart and soul of our work and our new logo reflects this. It also demonstrates our commitment to collaboration, inclusivity and the San Diego region. This brand is a strong and better reflection of who we are.”

A statement said the foundation’s new website “helps visitors better understand San Diego’s most pressing needs, how the foundation’s strategic priorities address those needs, and the ways donors, foundations and philanthropists can partner with SDF to make a difference in San Diego County and beyond.”

The foundation’s strategic plan calls for basing its work, including awarding grants to community nonprofits, on four pillars, including: advancing racial and social justice; fostering equity of opportunity; building resilient communities; and delivering world-class philanthropy.

The foundation has granted $1.3 billion to nonprofits since its founding in 1975.

It’s Fake News That Older People Are Susceptible to Fake News

How good are older adults at detecting fake news? Is it true that with age comes wisdom?  

Researchers at the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida recently reported that older adults are no more likely to believe deceptive news content than younger adults. While many people show cognitive decline as they age, it is also true that with age comes a broader knowledge base and more life experiences.

“People have this perception that older adults are going to perform worse than young adults across the board, but that is not the case,” said Brian Cahill, psychology professor at Florida.

“We wanted to see if there was an age difference in determining whether news is true versus false,” said Didem Pehlivanoglu, lead author and researcher at the University of Florida Department of Psychology. “We specifically wanted to look at this because we know that with aging most people show some decline in their cognitive abilities. But we also know some information processing abilities are preserved or even improved.” 

The study was conducted between May and October of 2020. The older adults ranged in age from 61 to 87 years while the younger adults were college students. Participants read and evaluated 12 news articles about COVID and non-COVID topics, with six real and six fake stories in each category. After reading an article, participants were asked such questions as whether the article was real or fake and how confident they were in their decision.

The only age-related susceptibility to falling for fake news was evident among those adults age 70 years or older. Researchers said this group was particularly vulnerable to deception via misinformation and more likely to engage in shallow information processing, including not looking closely at information or paying attention to details.

The study was published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied and reported by Technology Networks, a science news website.

IABC Discusses Strategies for Effective Communications

The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego chapter will host an in-person networking mixer and presentation on “Learning Strategies to be an Effective Communicator” from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at the Westerly Public House at the Monsaraz Hotel, 1451 Rosecrans St., San Diego. The public is invited to attend. Cost is $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers.

Presenter will be Corryn Kivett, owner of the San Diego-based Evolution Room, a consulting company for entrepreneurs and business owners. Kivett also is a master coach and trainer specializing in neuro-linguistic programming, a therapy approach to understanding and managing the human mind and behavior that helps people master their mindset and communicate effectively. Prior to founding her consulting firm in 2020, she worked in financial planning with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Mariner Wealth Advisor.

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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