Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 11:18am
St.Pete/Clearwater (Feb. 12, 2015) - Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's annual winter marketing blitz in the area's massive feeder markets of New York City and Chicago has rolled out with a unique, engaging twist this year that has passers-by slowing down to stop, stare---and smile. (VIDEO)
This winter, in addition to billboard-size ads on subways and buses and captivating beach scenes on office tower elevator screens, VSPC initiated a second guerrilla marketing campaign featuring snowmen, snow stencils and magnets touting a sole "WinterBlows.com" call to action. The site displays real-time blustery, snow-swirled images of Old Man Winter's grip on northern climes before resolving into enticing sun-soaked real-time images of St. Pete/Clearwater and offering the chance to win a getawaay.
The guerrilla marketing outreach, which has garnered significant Twitter and Instagram engagement at #WinterBlows, was designed to engage those who don't normally respond to traditional marketing---mainly millennials---and to create shareable moments that have made the popular campaign go viral in both cities, including features on ABC 7 in Chicago, Fox 5 in NYC and on numerous blogs throughout both areas.
"This is a natural evolution of brand positioning for us," said VSPC Executive Director David Downing. "Of course, we're still focusing the bulk of our marketing efforts on our core visitors, but we're also reaching out to new demographics who otherwise might not know we exist. It's both a brand awareness move and a long term play for future visitors, so we're starting with a simple, fun engagement opportunity."
And the curious have enthusiastically responded.
Since its launch, thousands of photos of snowmen holding signs that read "Sunshine or bust!" and "Even I've had enough!" created by VSPC have been shared across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, many under #WinterBlows. The snowmen were placed at high-profile areas in both cities, including Wall Street and Radio City Music Hall in New York City and Navy Pier in Chicago.
"In addition to building awareness of the St. Pete/Clearwater area, these snowmen are bringing smiles to people's faces and creating intrigue about who is behind the snowman and URL," Downing said.
"It's a bit ironic," added Downing. "We're bringing a little ray of sunshine into their day---with snow."
Snowmen Montage from New York City
New York City Photos & Videos
Chicago Photos & Videos
Branded Campaign Photos & Videos