Collier tourism 'bucket list' ads will target Florida's east coast

A couple sets up their chairs in the shade outside the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club on June 8, 2011. The Collier County Lodging & Tourism Alliance on Wednesday, hosted Jack Wert, director of the Naples, Marco island, Everglades CVB, who spoke on the most recent tourism season and discussed summertime promotions to attract visitors to Collier County. Greg Kahn/Staff

Photo by GREG KAHN

A couple sets up their chairs in the shade outside the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club on June 8, 2011. The Collier County Lodging & Tourism Alliance on Wednesday, hosted Jack Wert, director of the Naples, Marco island, Everglades CVB, who spoke on the most recent tourism season and discussed summertime promotions to attract visitors to Collier County. Greg Kahn/Staff

That sums up this year's spring/summer campaign, designed to bring more tourists to Collier County. Launched last month, it asks, "What's on your summer bucket list?" Advertisements show a champagne bucket or a sand bucket.

The campaign is targeted at two distinct markets: The champagne bucket zeros in on adults, while the sand bucket focuses on traveling families. Two of the ads were shown at the most recent meeting of the county's Tourist Development Council, an advisory group on tourism-related issues.

Council members liked what they saw.

"I think it's outstanding," said Rick Medwedeff, a longtime council member and general manager of the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa.

He likes the play on words and the focus on two of the destination's strengths: the beach and one-of-a-kind, luxury experiences.

"We did test this in focus groups and it just was a unanimous wow," Jack Wert, Collier County's tourism director, told council members last week. "So people really did enjoy it. It's really a nice, I think, departure for our summer campaign."

One of the advertisements with the sand bucket, asks: "What's on your summer bucket list? Building a sand castle to the sky? An airboat ride in the Everglades? Jazz concert at sunset?

Another with the champagne bucket asks: "What's on your summer bucket list? Being waited on hand and foot on the most gorgeous beach imaginable? Spotting dolphins in the wild?"

The advertisements end with "there's something special for everyone" in Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades and it's "priced perfectly," emphasizing the value-packed offerings in the destination's slower summer months. Those offerings can be found on a website, www.paradisecoast.com/deals/.

"It's still focused on value, which is really important. We are driving people to value offerings from our partners, related to those kinds of activities that they might want to put on their bucket list," Wert said.

Paradise Advertising and Marketing Inc., which handles tourism advertising for the county, created the campaign. The campaign started April 9 and will run through July 29. The budget is $475,000 and the money is coming from a percentage of the county's 4 percent tax, charged on all hotel rooms and other vacation rentals.

This year, the budget for the spring/summer campaign is smaller. Last year, the county spent $793,000 after tapping surplus money from a fund used for beach park projects, Wert said.

"This year we did not have any additional dollars," he said.

Suzanne Lennon, an account manager at Paradise Advertising, shared the highlights of the spring/summer campaign at last week's Tourist Development Council meeting, saying this year there has been a significant increase in participation from local partners, including hotels and attractions.

The summer campaign primarily focuses on the drive market on Florida's east coast. Television ads are running in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach. They're primarily aimed at adults, from age 25 to 64.

The campaign will include online advertisements on various websites, including tripadvisor.com, orbitz.com and weather.com. Advertisements will appear in magazines and newspapers and on their websites – and delivered on mobile phones and iPads.

Travelers can pick up a Preferred Pass at area visitor centers or get one online. It entitles them to discounts at local hotels, restaurants and attractions.

After a strong winter season, hoteliers anticipate a busier spring and summer this year. Bookings for groups are looking good, said Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"The leisure market is still pretty much last-minute, but we do feel that the demand will be there — as it has been for the first two quarters of the year — for travel," he said.

Based on the tourism bureau's monthly research, the outlook for hotels and attractions has moved from cautiously optimistic to optimistic, Wert said.

At the Marco Marriott, business continues to be up over last year.

"We are up both in our leisure demand and our conventions demand," Medwedeff said. "Everything continues to unfold as it has been this year. It looks to be a strong summer."

Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 8

Here4Now writes:

With all the old farts down here, it should be Kick The Bucket!

Here4Now writes:

Jack Wagon - always good for a laugh

Spock_is_logical writes:

IMSufrin makes us all suffer with his immaturity and ignorant comments.

Live long unless your sufrin...I do believe in euthanasia and anybody that has seen a family member die a long death from cancer may agree with Dr. Kevorkian also.

cobra writes:

The county commissoners should have saved that money and build an attraction to bring people in.Who would want to come here to hear old people whinning about life. Of course I'm talking about Commissioners that have brain.

volochine writes:

LOL!....A budget of $475K for 2012. Any retired executive from the ad industry will tell you that this might get you 2,000 spot ads on channels that don't matter, at time slots that don't matter. It might get you 10 spots on the NBC News at 6:30 pm.

Meanwhile California bombards us with ads and movie stars to visit California. That's how they roll. How does the state of California continue to outspend us on promotion?

Here4Now writes:

in response to SNOWBIRD27:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, youth in America

No1Uno writes:

Marketing an area using terminology associated with death, might be the Kiss of Death. But let's hope it helps.

swampparadise writes:

And tell me why? we want people here from the east coast of FL?

Where they have trashed, and ruined that beautiful area?

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