Hurricane Sandy interrupted a planned $6 million fall tourism marketing campaign to promote travel to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Beginning Tuesday, November 20, 2012, the Atlantic City Alliance is re-launching - in full force - the tourism recovery campaign to draw visitors immediately to the Jersey Shore resort town.
The popular “Do Anything, Do Everything, Do AC” campaign begins again but with a new television spot, a first-time national ad in the New York Times, and in-market and out-of-market events. The revised Do AC advertising creative focuses on “welcoming” visitors back for holiday shopping and hotel deals. A new citywide value-oriented promotion around restaurants, spas and hotel packages will be announced soon.
Due to the hurricane’s storm track, Atlantic City suffered minimal damage and reopened for business after five days. However, Atlantic City continues to see a lag in visitation and revenue due to the historic weather event. The livelihoods of more than 40,000 employees in the 12 casino properties, plus hospitality industry workers at businesses catering to the tourism industry, depend on a strong visitor base.
Atlantic City’s national image took a hit due to sensational, out-of-context and (at times) erroneous news reports about the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, which is still intact and as beautiful as ever. The campaign seeks to promote AC as “open for business” while being sensitive that nearby towns along New Jersey’s shoreline sustained serious and long-term damage. According to new research data from a national poll conducted by New Jersey-based Russell Research for the Atlantic City Alliance, a stunning 41% of the American public believes the Atlantic City Boardwalk is destroyed (which is not true!).
Here is what’s new:
New 30-second television commercial - produced in two days, showcasing the city as open and ready for visitors. The spot begins airing on November 26th.
New full-page print advertisement in the New York Times on Wednesday, November 28th featuring the Boardwalk with supplemental digital and email advertising reaching one million people. This is the first national ad for Atlantic City since the new destination campaign launched back in April.
New radio spots welcoming visitors back intermixed with the fall image radio campaign.
A front-page wrap of the Philadelphia Inquirer
An AC-sponsored balloon in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22nd.
Holiday shopping advertising in three Philadelphia-area malls (Cherry Hill, Exton, PA and Willow Grove, PA)
The advertising campaign includes television, radio, billboards, print ads in newspapers and magazines, digital and a sizable social media effort. The advertising buy is concentrated in the close-by drive markets: New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore DMAs. The PR and social media have a national focus.
Holiday and Boardwalk-centric Events
As part of the effort to welcome visitors back to AC and to promote the Boardwalk (that is intact), the Atlantic City Alliance is organizing a series of events around the holidays and the Boardwalk. They include:
On Saturday, December 1st, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) will launch a new $600,000 holiday lighting program and holiday parade in Atlantic City. Plus, a series of shopping events and free gift-wrapping will be available on weekends at each of the casino resorts and at the Wave Parking Garage. For more information, visit www.doatlanticcity.com
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 1st, the Atlantic City Alliance will debut a new, 3D light and sound show projected on to the facade of historic Boardwalk Hall called “Winter Sweet.” “Winter Sweet” is a free, 8-minute multi-media show that will draw visitors nightly to the Boardwalk. “Winter Sweet” joins “Duality,” also a 3D light and sound show. “Duality debuted on historic Boardwalk Hall on July 4th, 2012 and has drawn more than 150,000 visitors to the nightly show. For more information, visit www.doatlanticcity.com
Additional activities will be announced later.
Sandy Relief Effort Fundraisers
To assist employees, New Jersey residents and neighboring towns impacted by the storm, here are a few, select ways Atlantic City is contributing to recovery efforts (additional fundraisers related to Hurricane Sandy will be announced later).
The Atlantic City Alliance will release on Thanksgiving Day a series of special holiday themed “DO AC” magnets - a new version of the popular car magnet that has become a craze among AC fans, visitors and residents. There are red, green, gold and silver elements in the new series of “Do AC” magnets. The holiday-themed “Do AC” magnets will be sold for $5 each at the Atlantic City Tanger Outlet Mall, the Atlantic City Visitor Centers (on the Boardwalk and on the Atlantic City Expressway) and at 12 gift shops inside the casino resorts. Each $5 donation will benefit a qualified Hurricane Sandy relief fund focused on Atlantic County.