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SOUTHLAND BUSINESS

Hotel del Coronado Ad Spots Say It With Subtlety--in French

July 13, 1986|BILL RITTER

You won't hear the words "terrorism" or "foreign travel" in the Hotel del Coronado's $100,000 ad blitz this summer on two Los Angeles television stations.

But the fabled, turn-of-the-century hotel's message is clear enough anyway.

"We're trying in a subtle way," offers Hotel del Coronado President Scott Anderson, "to say that you can come to something as good as the French Riviera without having to leave the United States (and only) 120 miles away from Los Angeles."

Subtle indeed. About one-third of the 100, 30-second television spots--airing through Labor Day--are in French.

Another third are in English and the rest are in English spoken with a French accent.

"We needed to do something unique," explained Anderson.

"If you hear something in French, you'll put the paper down and look. Even if someone doesn't speak French, they'll know (the ad) is about the Hotel del Coronado."

The ads were produced in 1984 and aired in Los Angeles during the Olympics, according to Don Larson, whose agency produces the hotel's ads.

In addition to the television spots, which will be broadcast on the morning shows and local news programs of KABC and KNBC, Larson has purchased about $40,000 worth of newspaper advertising in Los Angeles and parts of Arizona, as well as in Chicago and New York.

The theme is "resort safely" on the quaint island of Coronado, a two-mile bridge drive from downtown San Diego.

"We're not talking about terrorism," insists Anderson, "just about being comfortable relaxing in the United States."

The hotel's campaign has so far run parallel with a $400,000 media effort by the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau to lure drive-market visitors and to head off competition from Vancouver's Expo '86. The convention bureau's television ads conclude Tuesday.

For the Hotel del Coronado, at least, the effort has been worth it.

The 697-room beachfront facility is running at capacity, said officials, and bookings for August have pushed occupancy into the 90%-95% range.

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