Pennsylvania’s (Nearly) True Tales

NEW YORK Pennsylvania Tourism this week launches a campaign from Red Tettemer that invites visitors to tell their “PA Stories.”

The effort is comprised of outdoor, radio, TV and guerrilla marketing designed to drive consumers to the client’s Web site,, where visitors can share their experiences traveling in the state.

“Around every bend, there’s a story waiting to be told. Tell us yours at,” reads one transit ad that relates the first-person story of a man whose pants are lost to an elk during a camping trip. Another tells of a world-record-setting “apple bobber” in Dutch Country. A TV spot features a bicycle club that prefers twists and turns to riding in a straight line.

“We found that people are more apt to listen to someone who has done it or lives there,” said Steve Red, president and chief creative officer of Red Tettemer, Philadelphia, which has been working on the state tourism business since 2004. “Those kinds of recommendations are more heartfelt and come from a more authentic place. That led us to the new ground where we want to turn it over to the folks who have actually lived the tale.”

The stories featured in the launch ads are not entirely true, said Red, but an amalgamation of the anecdotes the agency has collected over the years. The idea is to draw people into participating in the effort and use their submitted stories in subsequent promotions.

“Our hope was to be provocative enough and interesting enough and engaging enough that we could pull people in,” said Red, who added the site will be relaunched in coming weeks to showcase the “tell-yours” effort and user-generated content.

The agency will then craft ads out of those stories for another round of advertising in late fall.