By Justin Sondel email@example.com
Niagara Gazette — The city’s Community Development department is taking to the small screen in an effort to attract people to Niagara Falls.
The department has commissioned two commercials highlighting Community Development programs and promoting the city as an ideal place to live, work and play.
Seth Piccirillo, the director of Community Development, said his department hopes to generate interest in the Falls by showing the region and the nation that there is a new energy in the city.
“We’re happy with how it came out,” he said. “We think it tells our story.”
The commercials will be screened tonight at the Conference and Events Center Niagara Falls at 5:30 p.m. The 30 second and two-minute spots show the state park, local eateries and coffee shops, the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center and city neighborhoods.
Piccirillo said local television stations have offered to air the commercials as public service announcements at no cost to the city.
“The fact that it will be on network TV is really important to us,” he said.
In addition, the department will use social media to distribute the commercials and will apply for grants to fund advertising in media markets throughout the nation.
Piccirillo said his department has reached out to other groups like the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. to discuss reaching a greater audience.
And both the Niagara Falls International Airport and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport have agreed to show the commercials in the airports.
“The nice thing about the commercials is that they’ll be current and usable for the next couple of years,” Piccirillo said.
Community Development, with the help of the Downtown Niagara Falls Business Association, applied for and received a $2,200 grant from the New York State Urban Council, which helped pay for the production costs. The remaining funding, about $3,800, came from the advertising budget for Live NF, the program that pays up to $7,000 in student loans to recent college graduates and graduate students who live in a designated area downtown.
Piccirillo said that many city residents volunteered their time to help with the production and the Niagara Falls band Host Echo allowed the city to use its music for free.
“We know this was something worth spending money on,” Piccirillo said.Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257