Irma S. Mann Prepares Trip To Hong Kong

Adding to its list of travel accounts, Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing has been tapped to handle the $4 million domestic ad business of the Hong Kong Tourist Association.
The Boston agency was selected after a review of undisclosed contenders, said Irma S. Mann representative Larry Marchese.
The shop will work closely with the Hong Kong office of BBDO, which serves as lead tourism agency for the Chinese territory. Irma S. Mann will likely adapt some of BBDO’s efforts for use in the U.S., but also expects to craft original work, said Marchese.
“BBDO will develop the platform for creative,” Marchese said. “Their images will influence our creative. Finding synergies to American culture [and reflecting that in ads] is our responsibility.”
There have been no concerted tourism pushes of late, but Hong Kong has been billing itself as the “City of life” since Great Britain ceded administrative control of the territory to China nearly two years ago. That line, in some form or another, will likely be translated into campaigns from Irma S. Mann, said Lily Shum, director of the Americas for the Hong Kong Tourist Association, in a statement.
Television, radio, print and direct marketing ads are expected to launch in April or May, Marchese said. Irma S. Mann will handle media placement.
Portraying Hong Kong as one of the world’s great cities–on a par with New York, London and Paris–and enhancing its image as the gateway to Asia are among the strategies the agency may employ.
About 10 million people visit Hong Kong every year; nearly 1 million of those visitors come from the U.S. Though the agency hopes to improve on that figure, there are no specific numerical goals for the campaign, Marchese said.
Irma S. Mann has increased its billings 25 percent in the past three months, boosting overall billings past the $50 million mark. Other recent client acquisitions include the $6 million ad account of Sonesta International Hotels [Adweek, Nov. 16].