Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Launches Groundbreaking New Ad Campaign

Friday, May 2, 2014 - 9:51am

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (May 1, 2014) - Visit St. Pete/Clearwater debuted an all-new brand campaign this evening before a packed house of industry partners, media and guests at the historic Gulfport Casino, ushering in a hip new look and feel for the destination that tourism officials say better reflects the changing face of the area's 15 million annual visitors.

New online and print ads, which encourage visitors to "Live Amplified," sparkle with a bold new color palette, a variety of playful headlines and customized graphic treatments that mimic the look, feel and movement of digital amplification bars.

A new dance-club style track called "Solar Power," which was composed exclusively for the campaign's video and broadcast components, was unveiled today as well.

"Our research confirms a trend we've been noticing anecdotally over the past several years," said VSPC Deputy Director, David Downing. "The destination is becoming more attractive to a wider, more diverse and younger audience---which is always a good sign---and our new marketing direction reflects that growth."
In fact, tourism data going back almost a decade confirms area visitation is trending younger overall, with visitation by singles and couples trending upward while family visitation shows a steady decline as a proportion of overall tourism.

"Visitation is an equation with many different variables," said Walter Klages of Research Data Services, VSPC's research agency of record. "These numbers don't suggest that family tourism is falling off in terms of numbers---it's not. Rather, the whole pie is growing larger, and the pieces of it made up of visitation by singles and couples are growing larger within it."

VSPC Executive Director DT Minich, who leaves this weekend on a 10-day sales mission to China with officials from Visit Florida, noted that the sustained growth in international visitation is adding more variety---and youth---to the visitor mix as well.

"We see tremendous growth opportunities in international markets---particularly Latin America markets---so we've made a strategic decision to devote serious resources to growing our brand internationally," he said. "And this new campaign was designed to accommodate that growth."

To address these changing demographics, the creative team at BVK, the tourism bureau's advertising agency, developed a bold visual style that employs modern colors, a judicious use of white space and punchy, action-packed headlines that playfully highlight different facets of area tourism in print, billboards and online.
The video and television component has a distinctive vibe of its own, drawing on an array of newly-shot footage that captures the destination in a fresh, youthful light.

Some of the campaign's noteworthy elements include:

All-local talent: all of the models featured in the new campaign are area residents. Of the 350 locals that answered an open casting call, more than 200 of them---ranging in age from 2 to 75 years old---were ultimately cast in the shoot.

State-of-the-art animation: eye-popping digital animation---a first in Florida tourism marketing---features an elaborate animated montage composed of more than 50 separate images of local flora and fauna, from Royal Palms to red snappers to sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins and blue swallowtail butterflies.

Inclusivity: the marketing video includes a wide range of ethnicities and ages, as well as GLBT-specific imagery alongside more mainstream images. Another first is the inclusion of a representative from the deaf community, who can be seen in the video signing "Can you feel it?" while the phrase is sung on the soundtrack.

Original music: with a distinctive voice and lyrics and music written specifically with the destination in mind, "Solar Power" is positioned to become the official anthem for area tourism for years to come.

VSPCs former ad campaign, which featured two distinct 30-second TV spots---one focusing on parents ("Promises") and another on children ("Play" )---has aired in key feeder markets for the past three years. Those spots will be replaced by a series of new 15-, 30- and 60-second TV ads which will start airing throughout the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas later this month, kicking off the area's summertime tourism season.

Downloadable high-res "Live Amplified" creative examples
90-second "Live Amplified" commercial spot