Competition for locals looking to book "nearcations" in New York City's tri-state area is heating up. While the Big Apple doesn't need much help on the marketing front, Connecticut just launched its big tourism campaign. Now New Jersey's fabled Atlantic City is wooing northeastern residents to visit — and not for the reasons you might think.
The Atlantic City Alliance, a non-profit funded and operated by local casinos, is focused on increasing tourism by pitching. The marketing challenge: how to promote a city synonymous with gambling without focusing on casinos? The strategy: woo potential visitors on the city's other charms, as part of a campaign titled "Do Anything. Do Everything."
The campaign, by Euro RSCG, included two TV spots, "Do Anything" —
and "Do Proximity" —
Gaming, you'll notice, is not featured in the ads. Instead, they feature world-class entertainment, fine dining, luxury accommodations, vibrant nightlife, and the iconic beach and fabled boardwalk (which has been ingrained with HBO's Boardwalk Empire drama, although that drama features the city's seamier past).
"Transforming Atlantic City's gaming and tourism economy and developing it into a world-class destination and resort is a vital and ongoing commitment of this Administration," stated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (who last year looked to counteract another cable series, MTV's trashy Jersey Shore, with a "real Jersey Shore" tourism pitch). "With this newly integrated tourism campaign, there is finally a concerted effort to properly fund Atlantic City marketing initiatives to attract visitors to the region, a need that has gone unmet for far too long.”
Out-of-home executions include the aforementioned full station "takeover" at Port Authority, a highly-trafficked commuter hub serving Atlantic City in the largest activation in the $20 million campaign to date, part of a multi-year project to transform "AC" into a high-end destination (and siphon business from Las Vegas).
Ads will also appear on commuter rail station platforms in Metro North, Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA in Philadelphia.
"With travel options abounding in the Northeast, Atlantic City consistently faces competition when consumers are deciding where to travel," said Liza Cartmell, President of the Atlantic City Alliance. “We are confident that the advertisements and larger marketing campaign will encourage increased visitation and reinvigorate the local tourism industry."
A dedicated website offers trip planning tools for lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment.
"Atlantic City's new campaign is bold, edgy, vibrant and inviting,” said Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo T. Langford. "The campaign's message is clear: when you visit Atlantic City, you get a total experience – one you can't find elsewhere!"