Hot Springs Appoints Heathcott

Heathcott Associates of Little Rock, Ark., topped two shops for the Hot Springs Advertising & Promotion Commission account.
Cut from contention for the $1.3 million contract after presentations to the seven-member commission were Kirkpatrick Williams Associates of Hot Springs, Ark., and Frank J. Wills Co. of Little Rock.
Heathcott’s winning strategy proposed a direct response push focused on booking hotel rooms for people with immediate travel needs. The plan suggests routing viewers to an operator with a list of available accommodations or to a regional reservation service, rather than to an information line for a travel planning kit as previous ads did.
Later phases of the campaign will include a more general branding effort geared at long-term planners in the top feeder states of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Louisiana.
Heathcott said the win marks the second time he has helped land the account–the first time was nearly seven years ago when he was partnered with Ben Combs, now president of incumbent shop Combs & Co. in Little Rock.
The current review, launched in December, is the second in a year for Hot Springs tourism. The commission initially tried to terminate Combs’ contract last June after the shop acquired the tourism account of Tunica, Miss. Some commission members viewed it as a conflict.