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VISIT FLORIDA Invites Visitors to Enjoy “The Warmer Side of Winter”

By on January 15th, 2014 — 11:49am

Following a preview during today’s Board of Directors meeting in Palm Beach, VISIT FLORIDA announced the launch of our winter brand campaign inviting visitors to head to “the warmer side of winter.”  Every major destination competes for visitation this time of year as cold consumers look for a change of pace and environment.  VISIT FLORIDA’s new campaign reminds potential travelers that Florida is the place to be this time of year, with a television spot featuring visitors literally flying over a host of the Sunshine State’s warm weather settings.

Governor Rick Scott said, “In 2012, Florida had a record year for tourism with over 90 million visitors to Florida, and for the first three quarters of 2013, we welcomed more than 72 million visitors.  This puts us on pace for another record-breaking year.  We know that every 85 visitors to our state supports one Florida job, so this new winter brand campaign will strengthen our economy and help create more jobs for Florida families.  This is why last week we announced an historic $100 million in our recommended ‘It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget’ for VISIT FLORIDA.”

The campaign, which runs from mid-January to late March, includes broadcast, digital, print and out-of-home executions, as well as traffic and weather radio and TV sponsorships.  Key advertising markets include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.  Another element of the campaign is the Winter Warm-Up Sweepstakes, featuring three different Florida trip packages and allowing consumers to get extra entries for recruiting friends through shares in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

“Given the tremendously diverse tourism product we have to offer our visitors, and through the continued support of Governor Scott and the Florida legislature, we are able to aggressively market the state during the highly competitive winter season,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  “This campaign allows us to build on the momentum from two consecutive years of record visitation to make Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”

Through a strategic partnership with Orbitz, the campaign also includes digital drive market elements that push to expand visitation to North and Central Florida during their softer season and pre-seed awareness for spring and summer travel.  Additionally, a new PSA from the Share a Little Sunshine in-state advocacy program encourages Florida fans to share what they love about Florida during the Sunshine State’s bragging season.  Fans post to social media using #LoveFL, inspiring cold weather friends and family to visit.

Florida is unlike any other vacation destination.  Our winter ad shows people on the beach, golfing, fishing, playing at parks and attractions, and shopping and dining outdoors – and it was filmed just a few weeks ago.  Our visitors can do all these warm-weather activities today, not two or three months from now.

The winter campaign, created in association with VISIT FLORIDA’s agency of record Miami-based SapientNitro, is the latest seasonal installment in the “Must Be the Sunshine” brand narrative developed over the last two years. Utilizing an integrated marketing strategy, “The Warmer Side of Winter” campaign is expected to garner more than 500 million impressions.

“This is the time of year everybody dreams of flying to Florida,” said Susannah Costello, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President of Global Brand.  “Florida’s winter campaign, especially the TV spot, shows just how far visitors are willing to go to enjoy Florida’s transformative experience.”

The call-to-action for all campaign elements drives consumers to VISITFLORIDA.com, the state’s official travel planning website, where they will find original content being posted daily by a statewide network of 70-plus veteran journalists who are writing, filming and photographing stories on Florida.  VISITFLORIDA.com was recently acknowledged by travel news leader Skift as one of the top 20 travel sites in the world.

To see the television ad, as well as other elements of “The Warmer Side of Winter” campaign, please check out our landing page.  To get the best view, cut and paste the following URL into your browser:  www.VISITFLORIDA.org/MustBeTheSunshine.


Paul Phipps
Chief Marketing Officer
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