November 9, 2009 Marketing Meeting Recap

Monday, November 9, 2009

VSPC Advertising Goes Guerilla in 2010
Office elevators, big-city subways, delivery trucks used to push area tourism

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (November 5, 2009) - From elevators in Chicago, to subway trains in Manhattan to delivery trucks around Florida and coat-checks in London, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) will be employing several unique advertising vehicles to promote tourism this year in key feeder markets around the globe.

This according to the advertising plan unveiled last night at the CVB's annual Marketing Debut, which drew more than 200 industry partners, county officials and media members to Safety Harbor Resort and Spa.

Clad in an authentic Tarpon Springs sponge diver's suit and accompanied by Marvin, the canine star of the new St. Pete/Clearwater Area Visitor Guide, VSPC Executive Director DT Minich played the role of Ambassador for the evening to underscore the effectiveness of the current ad campaign and show how it will grow in the coming year.

The Ambassador campaign, which debuted last year to kudos from local industry partners and garnered the CVB a "Best of Show" award at this year's state tourism marketing conference, uses representatives ranging from Salvador Dali to a firebreather at Clearwater's Pier 60 to promote the many faces of the area to visitors.

"Most every ad for beach destinations around the world shows the same picture of a couple or a family on the beach," said Minich. "We've taken it one step further with the Ambassador campaign, which still touts our top-rated beaches while highlighting everything from world-class art at the Dali to authentic cultural experiences like Tarpon Springs and Dunedin."

The next iteration of the Ambassador campaign (pictured above), which will be seen in next month's "Station Domination" installment inside Manhattan's 34th Street/Herald Square station, emphasizes the area's proximity to the NYC market with a simple, yet catchy tagline: "Two-and-a-half hours in the air can change everything."

A half-dozen other ads comparing area Ambassadors to a cast of colorful New York characters are expected to make a big splash both next month and in March 2010 at a second installation inside the 59th Street/Lexington Avenue station.

Other novel VSPC marketing outreaches for 2010 include:

  • Video-loop ads that will run on flat-screen panels inside elevators in Chicago office buildings during February and March
  • An all-new, cutting edge website that will debut in December and feature horizontal navigation similar to Apple's iPhone
  • Sponsorship of the coat checks at London's World Travel Market, one of the world's largest annual gatherings of tourism professionals
  • Delivery trucks adorned with beach photos and VSPC messages in Orlando and Chicago
  • Billboards and name-badge sponsorships for US Travel's "Pow Wow 2010" in Orlando
  • Canadian online media campaign, ad insertions, co-ops and tour operator events

To view the complete PowerPoint presentation outlining the CVB's 2010 marketing plans, including all of the new Station Domination ads, visit the "What's New" section of PinellasCVB.com.