Denison’s civic leaders feel the city has accomplished a lot in the last few years, and, as of yesterday, they’re making sure people know about it. The Denison Development Alliance rolled out a pair of branding advertisements on Wednesday, aimed at informing citizens of the many ways the city is improving, or, as the ads’ motto puts it: "Moving forward."

Denison’s civic leaders feel the city has accomplished a lot in the last few years, and, as of yesterday, they’re making sure people know about it. The Denison Development Alliance rolled out a pair of branding advertisements on Wednesday, aimed at informing citizens of the many ways the city is improving, or, as the ads’ motto puts it: "Moving forward."


"The purpose of the campaign is to remind our local citizens of all the good things that have happened and are happening in Denison," said DDA President Tony Kaai. "And that’s important because nobody sells a community like its citizens. The ads will raise their awareness and get them to be promoters of Denison."


The television advertisements will air mostly during morning and evening newscasts on terrestrial channels, as well as a smattering on cable TV. Radio spots will air during the five-week media blitz as well.


Mayor Jared Johnson said the idea for the image campaign came out of a survey that showed a significant portion of Denisonites were either indifferent about the city or would not recommend it as a place to live. Johnson said converting those individuals into active promoters of the city is the goal.


"One of our biggest opportunities is how our own citizens can promote our community," said Johnson. "But it’s tough to do that when you don’t know what’s happening. We’ve had a lot of (positive) stories that add up to tell a larger story about what kind of success we’ve had in Denison."


Two of the ads — one celebrating Denison’s public servants and the other highlighting recent economic and job growth — are currently airing, with four more ads focusing on health care, education, architecture and infrastructure, and tourism set to join the rotation starting next week. Each of the advertisements was created by local David MacSmith.


"It’s a very visual campaign. A picture is worth a thousand words, and when you’re dealing with 30 seconds (of air time), you want to tell your story visually," said MacSmith of the ads’ development. "It’s a positive spin on all the things that have happened over the last two years, … just reminding people of what a great little town we’ve got."


DDA is spending $30,000 to create and run the ads, and plans to use online surveying to determine their impact after the ad buy has run its course.


Former mayor and current DDA Board President Robert Brady served as the on-air talent for the ad focused on jobs, in which he calls Denison "a can-do town."


"People in our community don’t realize we are moving forward, … and we just want to make people aware of that," said Brady. "I hate to spend the money, but it really is important."


When asked to predict his reaction the first time he’s confronted with his own voice on a commercial break, Brady gave a hearty laugh.


"We’ll probably put him on mute."