Maryland Science Center Picks Carton Donofrio

ATLANTA The Maryland Science Center has awarded its advertising account to Carton Donofrio Partners following a review, the agency said.

The Baltimore independent shop bested crosstown rivals The Campbell Group, PDA and Planet as well as Nasuti & Hinkle in Silver Spring, Md.

“There was a combination of expertise and knowledge of our category, and they have a good sense of the importance of being a community partner,” said Chris Cropper, senior marketing director for the client.

The agency will promote the center’s extensive renovation, set to be completed in May 2004. A new wing, made entirely of glass, will project into the traffic flow of Baltimore’s existing Inner Harbor attractions such as the National Aquarium.

“The facility will be completely renewed and expanded to double in size,” said Cropper. “The expansion will re-orient the entire the facility in order to better match the sight lines of the Inner Harbor,” said Cropper.

The expanded MSC, originally built in 1976, will include a dinosaur hall where visitors can excavate and study skeletons and a gallery devoted to the human body.

Agency CEO Chuck Donofrio credited the account win to CDP’s experience handling work for the National Aquarium and an understanding of the dynamics of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

“The [creative] strategy is based on transformation,” said Donofrio. Agency researchers studied visitors among the current exhibits, focusing ultimately on what Donofrio called the ‘lightbulb moment.’ “When it was deep enough to create an emotional connection, it gave us the core of what to do,” he said.

Work will include broadcast, print, outdoor, direct mail and interactive advertising. CDP will also plan and buy media. Billings are undisclosed.