Visit St. Pete/Clearwater To Partner with AT&T, NY Times, Virgin Holidays in 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 12:00pm

St. Pete/Clearwater (Jan. 25, 2017) - Before a record crowd of some 500 tourism industry professionals at the new Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) this week unveiled new advertising creative and announced first-ever marketing partnerships as part of the destination's worldwide marketing plans for 2017.

The all-new, lifestyle-intensive creative employs a variety of imagery---from craft breweries to drone shots of Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island to waterfront camping at Fort De Soto Park and sponge fishing in Tarpon Springs---and invites visitors to explore the destination with simple taglines, such as Feel It, Craft It, Live It, Love It.

The images in the new ads are labeled according to location and experience, and emoji-style icons convey specific aspects of the destination: from palm trees for areas of natural beauty to cityscapes for nightlife, Greek columns for museums and paintbrushes for art galleries. The new identifiers allow the ads to communicate more than ever about how multi-faceted and dynamic the destination has become.

"This new approach allows us to shine light not just on St. Pete and Clearwater, but on the entire destination---from Tarpon Springs and Dunedin to Gulfport---and communicate the wide variety of experiences the area has to offer," said Visit St. Pete/Clearwater President & CEO, David Downing

Downing is confident this new approach will only broaden the footprint of the destination in the minds of potential visitors.

"Our objective with this and everything we do is to find new ways to tell our story and ensure the continuation of record-setting tourism, which brings nearly $10 billion in annual economic impact and employs more than 100,000 residents in Pinellas County alone," Downing said.

The campaign, which goes live worldwide this week, is part of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's annual wintertime blitz and includes the major domestic markets of Boston, Chicago and New York City. Bright, warm-weather imagery will blanket double-decker buses, commuter trains and urban panels in all three cities, which rank among the area's top feeder markets year-round.

In New York City alone, backlit ads on some 700 subway cars---including the long-awaited Second Avenue "Q" Line---will total more than 100 million impressions.

In addition, VSPC has planned multi-tiered promotional partnerships with major global brands, including:

Virgin Holidays: VSPC is partnering with one of the largest UK tour operators to incentivize consumer bookings directly with the chance to win £1,000 off a booked vacation. The month-long initiative features a variety of promotional collateral, including a new TV spot airing in February.

AT&T: First-ever "Your Beach Is Calling" partnership with the media giant in the Chicagoland area, including an in-store takeover of the company's Michigan Avenue flagship store with branded VR experiences, giveaways of trips to the area and AT&T goods and services, and VSPC-themed events. Promoted online via targeted ads and social media, regionally via heavy-rotation radio spots, and city-wide via buses and other street-level installations.

New York Times: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater will be the first Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) in the world to employ's cutting-edge 360-degree ads, which allows users to experience the destination via immersive 360 videos on their phones, tablets or desktops---similar to the portal.

NPR: VSPC is expanding its year-round national presence on National Public Radio (which recently netted a commercial read by Tom Hanks) with onsite audience activations at live show tapings.

NBC/WESH-TV Orlando: Ramped up year-round marketing efforts include a five-times daily presence on WESH-TV news programming, as well as new digital ads that focus on visitors in the research phase of trip planning or attraction hunting. Other initiatives include in-market activations, promotions touting a new promotional URL,, and a first-ever partnership with a major attraction to be announced.

Downloadable Images of Creative

Downloadable B-Roll from Event

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Year-In-Review Video

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Director's Video

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the official destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, where tourism is the number one employer, resulting in 102,500 jobs for its residents and more than $4.7 billion in wages. In the past five years, visitors to Pinellas County have contributed more than $45 billion to the local economy.