Atlantic City in the Offseason: New Marketing Mission [VIDEO/AUDIO]
A special hearing in Atlantic City last week indicated substantial progress in reshaping the city's image and attracting more visitors, but can the momentum continue through the offseason?
The DO AC campaign, launched this year by the Atlantic City Alliance, featured thousands of radio and television spots and 160 newspaper ads through the spring and summer. The multimillion dollar marketing blitz proved successful, according to Jeff Guaracino, ACA Chief Strategy Officer. He said people in other states admit the campaign made them think differently about the struggling seaside town.
"The perception is beginning to change. We've got people's attention," Guaracino said, as his group works to deliver the message that Atlantic City is not just a spot for gambling; it's a destination resort.
Now, the Alliance and its DO AC campaign have a new challenge - convincing outsiders that the city continues to deliver when the temperatures drop.
"The job is never done," Guaracino said. "We're launching another six million dollars in our key markets."
The campaign includes television, radio, billboards, print ads in newspapers and magazines, digital and a sizable social media effort. Atlantic City’s 30-second television ad, “Do Change,” will air at least 1,300 times through December.
Guaracino explained, "The whole idea is to keep getting people coming to New Jersey, coming to Atlantic City, and to remind them that we're here offseason, mid-week, all the time."
At the campaign's web site, among a number of features, visitors can find a list of upcoming city events. The Golden Nugget hosts its second-annual craft beer festival this weekend. "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin performs at the Trump Taj Mahal October 6.
Guaracino noted the campaign doesn't only target visitors, and residents of Atlantic City have joined in delivering, and perhaps believing, the Alliance's message. More than 130,000 DO AC magnets are currently in circulation, and Guaracino said the magnets have become a popular decoration for local cars. Unfortunately, they've also been a hot item for thefts.
"People are proud of where they live and where the work, and they want other people to discover what they've already figured out," said Guaracino.
The magnets were free for months, but the Alliance recently started selling them for $1 each.