Why Wheeling?

Concept Paper For:
Later Alligator and The City of Wheeling

The first part of this Blog is a concept paper as if I were telling Later Alligator’s story.  Who, knows? Maybe one day I will! The second part of this Blog is a concept paper for the City of Wheeling as I prepare to tell her story.    

Later Alligator
Later Alligator is a restaurant located in the Centre Market district of Wheeling, West Virginia.  It is as trendy and hip as the neighborhood it calls home.  The most interesting thing about Gator is its story.  And everyone has a story. 

The purpose of a campaign should be to call people to action to patronize the restaurant. Visiting this restaurant is an experience and telling its story with video and images is a great way to get people in the door.  The most appropriate option for focus is a commercial in which they are asking the audience for their business directly.  Video should be hip and trendy, like the restaurant itself. One set of commercials should be :30 in length.  They should run on the local NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliates to reach the local market.  The commercials should run or “flight” during the morning, evening, and night time news broadcasts in order to reach the broadest audience.  They should begin during the third quarter of 2011 and run through the second quarter of 2012.  This will ensure they are running during the fall festival season, the holiday shopping season, and into the spring.  They should also be housed on Later’s web site (www.lateralligator.net) and Later’ s Facebook page.  Additionally, an audio commercial should run on local radio stations – particularly AM radio stations (WKKX, WVLY, and WWVA) during their morning talk shows. The FM stations which are most suitable are 97.3 FM and 98.7 FM because those stations’ demographics are in line with Later’s target market (25-50 year old professionals).  The restaurant should also advertise a print ad in InWheeling magazine and the Wheeling Intelligencer newspaper.  The main focus of this campaign should be to get people in the door by telling Later’s story.  This is a hip, trendy, and unique eatery located in a cool part of town.  If you’re not eating at Later, you’re missing one of the highlights of Wheeling!   

The Brand
The brand of Later is that it is a hip, trendy place to eat with a unique menu.  The experience of being in the restaurant and the type of food they offer – crepes – are the essentials of the brand. The brand should also delve further and talk about the ambience and the overall experience the audience gets – it’s not just lunch or dinner, it’s an experience.  The strengths of the brand are the menu and the environment.  The menu is unlike any other in the entire region.  It features savory crepes, most of which are healthy.  It also features artisan sandwiches, salads, and desserts.  The soups are well-known and are available for carry-out in quarts. Other strengths of the brand are its outdoor seating and its location in the area of town known as Centre Market. This area is trendy and is home to unique small businesses including two community theaters, an interactive science center, a wine shop, and an artist’s co-op. The weaknesses of the brand include limited seating, limited parking, and low volume at dinner. 

The Audience
The target audience for Later Alligator is people in and around Wheeling, West Virginia who are interested in healthy eating in a unique atmosphere.  Their songbird is healthy food in a cool part of town. This is a hip, trendy place and they want to ‘be seen’ here.  The digital story should appeal to both men and women, who are either working professionals or stay-at-home parents, between the ages of 30 and 55. They have an overall healthy and active lifestyle and enjoy the Centre Market area. For lunch, the appeal will be to people who work Downtown.   For dinner, the appeal will be to people who come to Centre Market for wine, art, or the theater.

Content Points
What we want the audience to take away from this campaign is:
  •   Later Alligator is a unique restaurant that offers healthy food
  • Crepes are an interesting alternative to home cooking or short-order style restaurant
  • The location is the chic Centre Market district
  • You can get in and out during a lunch hour
  • A great place for dinner 
  • Outdoor seating
  • It’s not just a meal – it’s an experience
  • Eat. Or We Both Starve!
The City of Wheeling
The focus for the City of Wheeling is that of an image-building piece.  Unlike a restaurant, there is nothing tangible to ‘sell’ but rather a quality of life.  Wheeling has myriad of cultural and entertainment amenities, which appeal to a wide range of demographics.  There are multiple golf courses and parks; arts; theater; science; music; restaurants; a casino; and recreation such as an award-winning bike trail, water sports like kayaking and boating, and snow skiing. Another important area of focus is Wheeling’s location.  It is perfectly situated along Interstate 70, which makes it the main through-fare between Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Additionally, proximity to Pittsburgh International airport, amusement parks, and other cultural activities are within a one-hour drive from Wheeling. 

The best way to tell Wheeling’s story is through images and video.  A series of :30, :60, and long-format videos will be created highlighting the quality of life features.  The commercials will air on the local affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox as well as on the cable channels HGTV, Travel, Discovery, History, ESPN, USA, and TBS. The long-format videos will be housed on the City’s web site (WheelingWV.gov), the City’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/WheelingWV) and on YouTube.  Additionally, the videos will be listed under the “Spotlight” link on the City’s iPhone app.   An audio version of the commercials will be played on AM radio stations WWVA, WVLY, and WKKX during the morning and afternoon talk shows.

The City’s brand is its unparalleled quality of life.  There is always something to do in Wheeling! From young children to seniors, there is truly something for everyone here.  For a city its size, the amenities are remarkable.  There is a symphony orchestra, a casino with Greyhound dog races and major concerts, the historic Capitol Theatre that features national and local talent, Oglebay Resort, Wheeling Park, The Wheeling Heritage Trail, The Centre Market, Historic North Wheeling, and championship golf courses.  Additionally, there are youth sports and activities such as tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, and a skate park.  There is ice skating and skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer.  The Heritage Port is home to nearly 100 outdoor festivals and events annually including a half marathon, ethnic heritage events, and a nationally-ranked blues music festival.  Wheeling is also the birthplace of West Virginia and Independence Hall, located Downtown, is literally the site of West Virginia Statehood.  These things combined with educational institutions and nightlife make Wheeling a brand that should be experienced. 

Wheeling’s biggest weakness is a low morale among current residents. That being said, it is believed that the low morale is the viewpoint of the vocal majority.  This campaign hopes to the build morale among the vocal minority and increase the participation of the silent majority. 

The Audience
There are several potential audiences for this campaign however it is recommended to stay focused on just one – the current residents of Wheeling.  While marketers usually focus on a specified demographic, this campaign is focused on all current residents.  West Virginia, as a State, is targeting retention of young talent, and Wheeling will be partially segmenting this campaign to young talent; however, the entire population will be the audience. As mentioned above, the goal is to build Wheeling’s image as a great place to live.  The audience will be the central character in Wheeling’s story as we highlight the positive attributes of this City. 

Content Points
The content points for this campaign are:

  • Quality of Life
  • Entertainment
  • Arts & Culture
  • Restaurants
  • Education
  • Location

Everyone Has A Story
While Wheeling’s history is abundant with the stories that created her, her future is still unwritten.  Leave a comment on this Blog about what Wheeling means to you; not what is was or what it could be, but what it is right now.  Why Wheeling? Why do you live in this place called Wheeling? Why now?     

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