Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB Announces 2007 Marketing Plan

. October 14, 2008

GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, September 29, 2006. Looking to expand its target audience to include younger, Generation X "aspirationals," the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau announced a roster of bold 2007 marketing initiatives today. Plans include new Sunny.org advertising images, a promotion-driven public relations program, increased sales focus on sports and multicultural groups, a new European communications initiative, as well as updates to www.sunny.org's design, Greater Fort Lauderdale's official tourism website.

The highlight of 2007 is coast(954), an innovative "Pop-up Place" that will occupy a storefront in a trendy, high-foot-traffic Manhattan neighborhood for approximately one week this January. The first of its kind for any travel destination, the "Pop-up Place" will attract younger, affluent New Yorkers to a trendy caf'e-style locale, where they can learn about Greater Fort Lauderdale and buy vacation packages through features such as the "Vacation Station" and "GFL Theater." Destination education components will be complemented by local guerilla marketing efforts, as well as in-store enter-to-win sweepstakes.

Greater Fort Lauderdale will continue to use the Sunny.org device (using "O"s in interesting ways to communicate the web address) in all media channels to drive consumers to experience the destination via the website. Beautiful new images of the destination, including the backdrop of the Lighthouse at Hillsboro Inlet as well as Broward's Blue Wave beaches and inviting hotels, will further pique interest in visiting Sunny.org.

"As the destination continues to evolve, its target audiences continue to expand," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Last year, the launch of our Summer of Discovery program expanded our core program to put additional focus on summer tourism. This year, coast(954) expands our efforts even further as we make a big push to appeal to a younger demographic - those affluent and influential 30-somethings that Greater Fort Lauderdale is certainly up-scale enough to attract."

Additionally, outdoor advertising will increase in key feeder markets such as New York and online ad spending will target specific new niche and geographic segments. MARC USA, Greater Fort Lauderdale's advertising firm, also will expand its advertising to new media vehicles, including Allure, Lucky, Vogue Living, Jane, W, Architectural Digest, Spa, GQ, Sports Illustrated and Esquire.

The destination's widely popular "Beach on Wheels" will return for another year, undergoing a facelift to keep the look of this successful marketing tool fresh. The Beach on Wheels will visit six northeast markets this winter: Chicago, Toronto, New York, Boston, Washington, DC., and Philadelphia. Each city visit will be complemented by local media events, regional consumer promotions, and street teams delivering branded hand warmers to give northeasterners warm GFL thoughts in the dead of winter.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB also announced a fresh look for its website, www.sunny.org, including several new consumer features scheduled to debut in 2007. These include a mobile website specifically for cell phone / PDA users, and a selection of GFL-themed music samplings on Sunny.org radio to enjoy while site-surfing. Users are able to choose from five laid-back tunes like Beach Chic, Ambient Sand, Blue Wave Rhythm, Aqua Groove and, Sax on the Beach.

Other website initiatives planned for www.sunny.org include a sweepstakes, where consumers can enter to "Get in the Big Game" and win a trip to the February 4, 2007 National Football League Championship Game, including hotel accommodations, round-trip airfare, tickets to Taste of the NFL, and the game.

Building on momentum from 2006, the CVB also announced the sophomore season of its "Summer of Discovery" campaign, a dedicated campaign to increase business during the June through September timeframe that the destination also calls its "Second Season." Initiatives in support of Summer of Discovery include increased advertising spending for the summer season, with 51% for fall/winter and 49% for spring/summer, as well as the expansion of special offers designed as an incentive to visit Greater Fort Lauderdale during the summer months.

The public relations program, developed by the CVB and its public relations agency, New York-based M. Silver Associates, focuses its strategies and tactics on the new luxury positioning of the destination, showcasing the destination's distinct qualities and new developments, including the opening of several new deluxe hotels in 2007 and 2008.

The PR program also calls for developing alliances and promotions with product and media partners to increase destination brand awareness, supporting multicultural initiatives and group/association sales, and working synergistically with advertising to add reach, credibility and leverage buys for greatest impact and exposure.

"And of course, we're by no means forgetting the other key visitor groups that have brought us so much success in recent years; this includes sports enthusiasts, meetings and reunions, "dinks," multicultural, gay and international travelers," Ms. Grossman continued. "The sum of Greater Fort Lauderdale's attributes - luxury hotels, Blue Wave beaches, terrific shopping, eclectic dining, eco-tourism options - really make us a destination for all to enjoy."

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