VSPC Puts Dali, Winter the Dolphin on Center Stage in 2011

New campaigns, virtual reality Visitor Guide showcase St. Pete/Clearwater like never before

Thursday, November 4, 2010

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (November 4, 2010) - Through the use of three-dimensional billboards, street banners, in-car subway advertisements, rental car hangtags, airport trams and a host of other elements in an aggressive advertising campaign, the St. Pete/Clearwater area will be taking the tourism marketing world by storm again in 2011.

The Dali blitz (above, left) is just one facet of a multi-prong marketing approach unveiled last night at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s annual Marketing Debut, which brought nearly 200 industry partners, county officials and dignitaries to the Mahaffey Theater. 

This year's campaign is centered on two of the biggest developments to ever break in St. Pete/Clearwater: the 1-11-11 opening of the new Dali Museum, and the filming and worldwide release of "A Dolphin Tale"---the major-motion picture based on and starring Clearwater's own Winter the Dolphin. 

"There are very few destinations that are opening a brand new world-class museum and launching a major Hollywood film, let alone both in the same year," said Executive Director DT Minich. "So it was a natural choice to focus our marketing efforts around these events in 2011."

Minich also announced that, for the first time in the organization's history, VSPC will be targeting travelers at nearby Tampa International Airport (TIA)---a facility that serviced nearly 17 million passengers in 2009---through a variety of unique and creative promotions.

Advertisements using natural, candid photography and featuring actual locals and visitors instead of professional models will be installed on trams that transfer passengers to airside terminals and outside of baggage claim. Those within the tram will be the first of its kind ever instituted at TIA.

The ads all include a playful message with an airplane theme, including a design that declares "Our Seats Never Have to be Returned to Their Upright Positions" over an image of a beachfront chair and one that suggests "After You Claim Your Baggage, Why Not Reclaim Your Sanity."

Continuing the spotlight on TIA, more than 22,000 cars each month of the airport's Hertz Rent-a-Car fleet will be adorned with hangtags promoting the new Dali Museum. The promotion displays the distinctive face of Salvador Dali on the front, with a map, area information and the VisitStPeteClearwater.com URL appearing on the back.

Adjacent to the airport, a billboard debuting in mid-November and featuring a three-dimensional Dali-esque moustache made of steel (above) will tout the new museum from its location at Interstate 275 and Westshore Boulevard in Tampa. 

But Dali's moustache won't be the only thing jumping out at travelers in 2011.

VSPC's new Visitor Guide will feature cutting-edge technology called "augmented reality" that transports the reader into a three-dimensional interactive platform with the help of a webcam. 

The guide also makes use of "quick response codes," allowing for a seamless transition for mobile users and driving readers straight to the online home of hoteliers and attraction owners in St. Pete/Clearwater. Its smaller trim size makes it more portable, while the new dual "flipped" covers celebrate the area's two treasures: beaches and culture. 

That "culture" pitch for 2011 also includes support for the Chihuly Collection---the permanent collection of renowned glass-artist Dale Chihuly, situated at 400 Beach Drive in St. Pete. Street banners advertising the new Dali and the Chihuly will be installed this winter in the downtown area.

A similar banner promotion with Winter the Dolphin---appearing along the Clearwater Memorial Causeway---is just one of several initiatives planned around the film's release next summer. 

One lucky family will even receive a free getaway to St. Pete/Clearwater and be given the chance to meet Winter at her home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Other novel VSPC marketing outreaches for 2011 include:

A partnership with JetBlue Getaways for a free trip to the area, supported by New York City ads on double-decker buses, inside subways and on flat-panel monitors inside office building elevators.

A multi-medium campaign called "100 Days of Summer," that promotes 100 special offers and 100 events, happenings and places to be each day, with special Internet components.

Enhancements to VSPC's web presence, including a revamping of the VisitStPeteClearwater.com homepage, a new mobile site, international site redesigns for the German, Spanish and French markets and advanced search engine optimization.

To view the complete PowerPoint presentation outlining VSPC's 2011 marketing plans, visit the "What's New" section of PinellasCVB.com.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida. 

Connect with VSPC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For more information: VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: CVB Assistant Director David Downing: David@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7213

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