NEW ADS TOUT RV LIFESTYLE IN FIRST INDUSTRY CAMPAIGN;$5 MIL EFFORT TO RUN IN MAGAZINES, NET AND CABLE TV

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The recreational vehicle industry will break its first national advertising campaign next year, an effort promoting the benefits of the RV lifestyle.

The initial run of the campaign-five print ads and three TV commercials-will appear in national magazines and on network and cable TV between February and June 1997.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Timed to coincide with the industry's main selling season, ads show family members getting to know one another better in their home away from home.

"I think it's on target," said John Mancinelli, VP of Lazydays RV SuperCenter in Florida. "This customer doesn't want a lot of noise, slogans and jingles. There's no question, these are emotional ads."

The theme is "Wherever you go, you're always at home."

The drive is budgeted at $5 million, with a three-year plan established for a total of $15 million. RV manufacturers are shouldering most of that through a $22 mandatory assessment on each unit they build. Suppliers ante up with an assessment on their Recreation Vehicle Industry Association dues and booth surcharges during the industry's 1997 and 1998 trade shows.

EXPANDING THE MARKET

The ad campaign is the initiative of the Go RVing Coalition, a nonprofit organization formed last year by RV manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and campground operators to expand the market.

The campaign from Eisner & Associates, Baltimore, is trying to bring baby boomers into the fold.

"We need to capture these baby boomers-make sure they're aware of the RV opportunities," said Jerry Mittman, manager of recreation and special vehicle sales at Ford Motor Co.

Ads feature a toll-free number for requesting a free 30-minute video and a list of participating dealers nationwide who have agreed to support the program by serving as information centers.

Mr. Kisiel is truck editor for Automotive News.

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