Pinellas beaches cash in on cold weather - WNEM TV 5

Pinellas beaches cash in on cold weather

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One of the ads in the campaign One of the ads in the campaign

When it snows in New York and Chicago, a team of snow stampers and snow sculpture builders hit the streets. Their artwork is designed to lure tourists to the beaches of Pinellas County.

"It's a little bit of guerilla marketing in the city," explained David Downing with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Advertising in cold climates is nothing new. But Downing says this innovative winter campaign is attracting lots of attention by using high impact, low dollar tactics.

"Random people have been tweeting some of our ads in New York. The one they like particularly says ‘We salt margaritas, not sidewalks'," he explained.

Other quirky one-liners now hang in subways, elevators, cabs, and on coffee cups from street vendors in New York, Toronto, and Chicago.

Downing says it's too early to tell how well many people see the ads, then book winter escapes to the Bay area. He says if increased traffic on their website is an early indicator, people in the big cities love what they're seeing.

"Right now things are going extraordinarily well," said Downing. "This is a wave that we want to keep growing, keep building."

Last year was the most successful tourism year on record in Pinellas County. The county generated $31 million in tourism tax, which makes it one of Florida's five designated High Impact Tourism Destinations.

"What we want to do, is grow tourism responsibly, slowly, getting the right message in the right market, at the right time of year," said Downing.

  • What is your favorite ad in this new campaign?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    We salts margaritas, not streets
    41 votes
    New York, New York, warm up, warm up
    1 vote
    Hail a cabana
    1 vote
    Brrr-ing your swimsuit
    6 votes
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