Who’s Mering & Associates? California Tourism Knows

Mering & Associates, a small, relatively unknown Sacramento, Calif., shop, is in the spotlight after winning the California Division of Tourism’s advertising business. To the surprise of the larger finalists for the account, which bills $16.5 million over three years, Mering was selected Aug. 25 less than 48 hours after delivering an oral presentation in the review.
The $15.5 million shop was victorious over two much larger contenders: DavisElen and Grey Advertising, both in Los Angeles. The account is by far the biggest piece of business in Mering’s portfolio, which includes another state client–Amtrak California–as well as Duraflame, Marie Callender’s and AirTouch Cellular in Northern California.
“I admit, our selection came as a bit of a surprise,” said Dave Mering, agency principal and associate creative director. “We believe this win proves that just because we’re small and from Sacramento doesn’t mean we can’t do the kind of work expected from a high-profile San Francisco or Los Angeles agency.”
“Mering & Associates demonstrated outstanding creative,” said client representative John Poimiroo. “The agency has strong insight about why people vacation, and a real understanding of tourism marketing.”
Print and TV ads will not break until early 1998. The agency will develop separate national and state campaigns, focused on California’s diversity, not just on the Golden State’s famous destinations. “California has lost some of its luster as being the trendy place to go,” said Mering. “Still, it’s a hard place to stereotype, so it’s our goal to promote the whole California experience.”
Mering & Associates will also be charged with improving the tourism division’s Web site. The agency’s Web experience includes designing a unique interactive site for Duraflame, which features a downloadable, campfire screensaver.