The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Campaign Aims to Clear Misperceptions About Coastline Status

June 21, 2010

LEE COUNTY, Fla., June 21 /PRNewswire/ — To address consumer misperceptions and reassure visitors that the Gulf oil spill is not affecting The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel coastline and islands, the destination has begun airing the first of nine, 30-second television spots, that are scheduled to be filmed, edited and aired everyday from June 21-25 and June 28-July 1.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/florida-tourism/44657/

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100621/MM23040)

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100621/MM23040)

This type of innovative advertising campaign, with spots made and aired in one day, is commonly referred to as “FreshTV.” The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is the first destination to use this type of aggressive national advertising campaign in the face of a crisis. The innovative campaign will help to sustain visitation, protect the area’s tourism economy, and correct misconceptions regarding the spill’s impact on the destination, which remains completely untouched.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy. We welcome nearly five million visitors each year who contribute $2.6 billion to the local economy, or $82 per second, and account for one in four jobs in Fort Myers,” said Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), which markets the destination internationally for leisure and business travel. “We want visitors to know that our doors are open and our shores are clean. To rise above the noise and reach consumers nationally, we need to take a radical, no-holds-barred approach to have the most impact.”

The ground-breaking advertising campaign features a traveler on a nine-day vacation experiencing a different part of Fort Myers every day. Each of the nine spots will chronicle his waking to a fun, new experience on the area’s beaches and waterways and will be aired on select network and cable shows, as well as in-state markets. The call-to-action for each spot features summer travel deals, vacation guarantees and flexible cancellation policies.

“Showing the pristine beaches and natural environment of our unspoiled island sanctuary in real time and in a fun, fresh and totally unique way demonstrates the one-of-a-kind experience our destination offers visitors,” Pigott said.

She added that, while the VCB has a contingency plan for the ad campaign should the area be impacted by the oil spill, the opinion of a local expert gives her cause for optimism.

Kristie Anders, education director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, explained that the chances of oil impacting the destination are slim. That’s because the loop current in the Gulf follows the edge of the West Florida continental shelf, which runs parallel to the state’s coast and extends to about 150 miles off the destination’s shores.

“The continental shelf serves as our guardian angel,” said Anders. “Barring a major storm, it’s the greatest reason to be optimistic that we will experience minimal impact from the spill, since it will steer the loop current away from our area.”

The same-day television campaign is just one component of the destination’s “Still Pristine” integrated marketing program, that first launched the week of the spill.

“The more wide-reaching we can make this campaign through broadcast and social networks, the more attention it will garner for our destination and its pristine beaches,” said Pigott.

Travelers wishing to visit The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel can find the latest details regarding current conditions on a new web page of the destination’s consumer website called: “The Beaches Now.”

Editor’s Note: Campaign press materials are available in the destination’s digital press room and include: facts sheets; copies of the national television advertisements filmed to date; behind-the-scenes still photos and b-roll of the ads being filmed; and b-roll of the destination’s beaches, wildlife and attractions.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in southwest Florida includes: Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer islands, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres.

SOURCE The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Source: newswire

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