Arnold Plays Up Bermuda’s Golf, Spas

NEW YORK The Bermuda Department of Tourism bows two campaigns this week in an effort to redefine the slow January-to-March period as the golf and spa season, and also attract affluent African American travelers. Combined marketing spend was put at $10 million.

“What a difference two hours can make,” via Arnold Worldwide, New York, will flag Bermuda as the country with more golf courses per square mile than anywhere in the world. The “Two hours” tag reinforces its proximity from East Coast markets. A 30-second spot, “Putting Distance,” opens in a city office on a gray winter day, where an executive has set up a makeshift golf course. When he takes a full swing, the camera follows the ball out the window and onto a lush green course in Bermuda. “Putting distance from the East Coast,” offers a voiceover.

“No one wants to play golf when its 95 degrees,” said Arnold New York executive creative director John Staffen. “But when it’s 70 and slightly overcast, it’s beautiful golf weather.” Staffen added that several spas on the island have upgraded their facilities, making Bermuda more competitive with golf resorts in North and South Carolina or Georgia.

The spot will air in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Toronto. Print will run in newspapers, and golf and spa publications. Support includes outdoor and an interactive golf game that touts promotions from discount airline USA 3000, available at Bermudatourism.com.

Also going live this week is a viral game that allows golfers to putt a ball from their office window, mirroring the TV spot and one print ad. Hit the ball perfectly and it lands on a beautiful Bermuda green; slice it one way or shank it the other, and you could hit an ocean liner or the blowhole of a whale.

“The viral effort is the kind of thing golf buddies might pass along to each other with a note saying, ‘We should think about going here this winter,’ ” Staffen said.

An “Embrace . . . ” print initiative, via Images USA, Atlanta, uses cultural cues and distinct Bermuda attractions, like its African and British heritage, and pink sand beaches. The target audience is wealthy, ethnic and activity oriented, which typically is overlooked in advertising, according to Bob McNeil, Images USA president and chief executive officer.

One ad shows an African American woman with eyes closed in a pool amid an inset of images like chocolate-covered strawberries and tropical drinks. Text declares Bermuda, “The official destination of chill.”

Images USA has also linked the Bermuda Department of Tourism with the Black Enterprise Ski Challenge, Feb. 16-21, in Vail, Colo.