‘Come to Ocean City’ before the Ocean Disappears, Says Ad

WASHINGTON ~ A popular seaside resort in the northeastern US state of Maryland is urging tourists to book vacations now before the ocean disappears altogether.

Borrowing from the style of Orson Welles’ 1938 radio announcement that Martians were landing on Earth, the ad features the mayor of Ocean City calling on vacationers to book “before our planet spirals to a vaporous death.”

“Fellow citizens, this is Rick Meehan, mayor of Ocean City, Maryland, USA, Planet Earth,” he says in the ad which appears on regional television and radio as well as on YouTube, its footage sometimes jumpy as if filmed by a Super 8 camera.

“A recent study in the Royal Astronomical Society Journal predicts that our oceans will evaporate in one billion years,” he says.

“This is not due to global warming but the natural effect of our Earth being dragged towards the sun, causing our beloved saltwaters to just boil away.

“As such we are advising citizens to book their Ocean City getaway now, before the ocean evaporates. This may be the last chance you have to enjoy all that Ocean City, Maryland has to offer.”

As the mayor ends his appeal, scenes of the beaches, fishing, tourist shops and children banging on crabs are flashed across the screen.

Donna Abbott, public relations director for the tourist spot, said the ad aims to be “humorous” and is a tongue-in-cheek appeal to urge Americans to take a vacation amid a slumping economy and spiking fuel costs.

“We understand the environment and its importance but these days, in all the gloom and doom of the news, we want to have people take notice and realize that they need to have some fun,” she said.

“We recognize these are challenging economic times with gas prices increasing and it was a reason to be very aggressive in our campaign this year to remind people they need to take a vacation.”

Ocean City, renowned for its 16-kilometer sandy beach, receives around eight million visitors per year.

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