Lewis Is Choice Of Rock City

Lewis Advertising in Birmingham, Ala., emerged from a field of four finalists as the winner of Rock City Gardens’ $900,000 ad account.
The client, a 10-acre tourist attraction known for its painted roadside barns summoning travelers to “See Rock City,” first began contacting shops late last year.
Rock City marketing manager Todd Smith narrowed the field from about 16 shops to Lewis, Birmingham-based SlaughterHanson, and Miller-Reid and The Johnson Group, both Chattanooga, Tenn.
“We were looking for some fresh, dynamic ideas, and that’s what [Lewis] brought to the table,” Smith said. “They showed a lot of insight into our attraction and the history that we have.”
That insight came from research into travel trends and several trips to the site, located near Chattanooga on Lookout Mountain in Georgia.
“We did a lot more than put some ads together,” said Lewis president Larry Norris. The agency submitted advertising concepts as well as ideas for physically changing the attraction to emphasize the natural scenic beauty.
In addition, both Norris and agency executive creative director Spencer Till found family photos from Rock City vacations during the 1950s. The client “got a real kick out of that,” Norris said.
Lewis’ first project is to update Rock City’s 1970s-style logo, though the client will likely keep its tag. “There’s so much equity in ‘See Rock City,’ ” said Lewis director of public relations Ross Mitchell.
Lewis plans to break a new campaign this spring. The 73 remaining painted barns will be part of the marketing mix, along with print, radio and outdoor in key feeder markets Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga and Nashville, Tenn.