Downtown Little Rock on Upswing

Happy schoolchildren, friendly police and firemen, shoppers and late-night clubgoers figure in Stone & Ward’s inaugural campaign for The Downtown Partnership.

The local campaign, with a budget of $200,000, is aimed at increasing the number of visitors and residents in downtown Little Rock, Ark.

The state capital is one of many locales following the trend of urban renewal and revitalization of the city center. In its television effort, Stone & Ward opted for a montage of people-focused downtown scenes. A singer/commentator overlays a fast-spoken description of lifestyle benefits on top of the contemporary guitar-based soundtrack.

The agency, in conjunction with local firms Waymack & Crew, Soundscapes and Nola Studios, created a total of three television spots, a radio commercial and six print ads for the project.

The campaign began in June and will run through December. All media is donated.

“A lot of people don’t think of Arkansas as having a city with an urban flavor to it,” said agency president Millie Ward, whose shop has called downtown Little Rock home since 1984. “This [campaign] allows usto showcase that dimension of our personality.”

The marketing campaign “is something The Downtown Partnership has been talking about for a long time,” she added. “Over $650 million has been invested in the last five years and we felt that it was really time to showcase that.”