Ad for San Marcos area running in Times Square

Trends Reporter

Residents have seen an increase in tourism, construction and business openings over the past several years as Texas State's enrollment numbers continue to rise, and the U.S. Census Bureau dubbed San Marcos the fastest-growing city of its size.

Now, the buzz about San Marcos has made it all the way to New York City.

Times Square in Lower Manhattan is one of the most heavily trafficked metropolitan areas both nationally and internationally. The CBS Jumbotron on 42nd Street, with a screen measuring 20 by 26 feet, sells 30-day, 30-second advertising spots starting around $50,000 to companies that wish to reach the expected audience of approximately 200,000 commuters that pass through the intersection daily.

It was with a stroke of luck and a steep discount that the Greater San Marcos Partnership, a local firm that looks to advance small businesses in Hays and Caldwell counties, was able to purchase a 15-second, 106-day advertising spot for a mere $18,000. Adriana Cruz, president of GSMP, said the opportunity couldn't be missed.

 “We presented the offer to our board of directors and they thought it would be great opportunity, so we decided to take the spot,” Cruz said.

The original purchaser of the Jumbotron ad spot had backed out a few days before the video clip was scheduled to run, leaving Cruz with only days to produce an appropriate cut and convince the GSMP board to make the leap and take the offer. She pulled through, and the San Marcos snippet has played once per hour for 18 hours every day since March 29 when the advertising spot began.

Were it not for another short-notice offer just weeks before, Cruz might not have had a video to sell. One week prior to the 2014 South by Southwest trade show in Austin, the GSMP was approached to present a one-minute video to be shown on the trade show floor, along with representation by other cities. The marketing staff at GSMP, whose budget Cruz referred to as print-based, had no material of their own. Naturally, the partnership turned to Texas State.

 “We are always excited to have information about Texas State University broadcast across the state and nation,” said Michael Heintze, associate vice president for enrollment management and marketing Michael Heintze. “We saw the video as another way to communicate the many strengths of Texas State to the citizens of Texas and beyond.”

The university footage, which was provided free of charge, was then sent to Zero Signal Productions, a web design and video production agency based in Austin that put the original one-minute reel together.

Cruz said that while the unexpected video expenses have yielded good opportunity as of late, she doubts the Greater San Marcos Partnership will change the make-up of its budgets in the future.

The partnership has retained its original video, however, utilizing it wherever it can—in client meetings, the office lobby and for upcoming trade show events, including Semicon West in San Francisco, a convention that GSMP will be attending July 8-10.

The initial production is available for viewing on GSMP’s YouTube channel. The video clip currently running in Times Square will continue its 18 daily appearances until July 15, its 106th day.