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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Ad is clever and 'so much more'

July 28. 2013 9:15PM

The television is usually just background noise in my home. Like you, I am an engaged member of our local community and I read the newspaper to get in-depth local news. But I like to keep shows like "Good Morning America" on for updates on the really important stuff, like Royal Baby updates.

It's rare for a television commercial to catch my attention. That's why I knew a new spot for Nashua Community College was special. When I heard it, I stopped the 12 other things I was doing to turn around and watch.

The commercial features a small band singing a song about the school being, "so much more," in various locations around the campus. My favorite part has the school's tiger mascot dancing in the background as if it is a normal everyday occurrence. The tune is upbeat and catchy. The imagery is modern and engaging. I've never thought positively or negatively about Nashua Community College. Actually, I've never thought about it at all, and this commercial made me want to go back to school.

When I learned the commercial was made by Manchester advertising firm Eisenberg, Vital and Ryze, I sent a note to company owner and president Jeff Eisenberg to tell him how impressed I was. Eisenberg is known in these parts as the builder of the Manchester Monarchs franchise, but he left the organization and purchased the advertising agency from Terry Vital in 2009.

"We had a great time making the ad and we're very happy how it turned out," Eisenberg said in an email to The Scene. "We know 'it's not your dad's community college,' but we needed to convey that in a way that really worked."

And then, like any good agency director, he introduced me to his client's Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Dawn Kilcrease.

I know I am not the only person questioning the value of an expensive four-year school these days. It appears Nashua Community College has perfected its timing to capitalize on changing perceptions like mine and present their school as another option.

"I envisioned the spots transforming how people view community colleges. To create a paradigm shift from considering a 2-year school as 'Plan B/less than' to a viable 'Option A/so much more'," Kilcrease wrote in an email.

Kilcrease confirmed that the four main characters in the commercial, known as the So Much More Band, were hired actors. But I was pleased to find out that two of them — Melissa and Nelson Wintringham — were a brother/sister duo from Deerfield. Nelson played guitar in the background of his sister's audition video and the team was so impressed they asked him to audition as well.

The commercial is rounded out with many extras who are actual students, staff and faculty at the school. The music and lyrics were written by former Eisenberg, Vital and Ryze owner and award-winning musician Terry Vital.

I am very impressed with the creative talent we have in our city and state. It makes me wonder why anyone would need to look to Boston or another big city for their marketing and advertising needs.

To check out the spot, you can find it on Youtube, or visit

Supporting S.T.E.M.

During my time as a novice newspaper reporter covering the Manchester Board of School Committee I had the pleasure of meeting board member Bernard J. Perry Jr. He was a committed public servant, biomedical engineer, college professor of computer science and respected businessman as the proud owner of KRL/Bantry Components. The high-tech resistor manufacturing company, located in the south end of Manchester, was previously owned by his father, Bernard J. Perry Sr.

Sadly, Perry, Jr. passed away last September. But his son Bernard J. Perry III (known to friends and family as B.J., like his dad) has taken a leadership role in the family business. He has also embraced his father's passion for advancing S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives and with the help of friends and family started the Bernard J. Perry. Jr. Foundation in his dad's honor.

The foundation, which will support S.T.E.M. initiatives through grants, donations, sponsorships and scholarships, is holding its first fundraising event on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at Chen Yang Li in Bedford. The event will feature the Chinese food that Perry Jr. was a connoisseur of, as well as door prizes, a silent auction and a presentation about the foundation. Tickets are $40 per person and sponsorship packages are also available. To RSVP please contact B.J. Perry at or 801-2007.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

My house gets destroyed during normal activities such as eating and bathing, so I cringe when my children ask to do messy art projects. Even a half-hour with Play-Doh means I will be finding it on my shoes and digging it out of my carpet for weeks. Studio 550 must have sensed my pain because it has begun offering Parents and Kids Clay Workshops at its 550 Elm St. community art center.

The small classes featuring wet (and I'm sure messy) clay projects are geared towards parents with children ages 4 to 7 who would not likely take an art class on their own. All the tools, materials and instruction are included.

Sounds like a lot of fun, especially because it's not in my house. The cost is $30 for each parent/child pair or $40 for a parent with two children. Call 232-5597 to register.

If you have an event you would like considered as the Event of the Week, be sure to enter it at the free NH365.ORG events calendar.

If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to

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