Hoffman/Lewis ‘Kidnaps’ Chicagoan in the Name of St. Louis Tourism

By Bob Marshall Comment


According to Hoffman/Lewis CD and VP Mark Manion, “The only way we are going to get someone to believe is to kidnap them and show them.” So, when the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission needed Chicagoans to believe that St. Louis can actually be a fun, nearby place to visit, they kidnapped one.

The “victim” is Scott, and 33-year-old beer-drinking baseball-loving everyman whose unknown whereabouts and phone number (312-268-6152) is being advertised all over the Chicago mass transit system. His website gives hints as to where he might be, functioning as a St. Louis-themed Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? It also serves as a place for for confused (drunk) Chicagoans to leave voicemails and watch Scott have what would seem to be a lot of fun at different St. Louis venues.

Through his kidnapping experiences, Scott learns that St. Louis has some of the same attractions as Chicago (beer, baseball, a zoo), turning his kidnapping experience into a joyous event wrought with education and fond memories. But, will Scott’s adventures 300 miles southwest of his hometown inspire others to follow against their own better judgment? Well, the only other place advertising all over mass transit in Chicago is Montana, so it can’t hurt.

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