Where The Boys

Fort Lauderdale Is Seen as Adult Venue, Not Spring Break Mecca
DALLAS–Harris Drury Cohen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will return the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau to television advertising this month after a three-year hiatus.
A single television commercial, cut in 30- and 60-second versions, begins airing this month in the Southeast and in limited feeder markets in the Northeast.
The spots, supported by direct response print, collateral and trade show materials, continue to employ the themeline, “Greater than ever.” Agency creative partner Stan Harris said “Immerse yourself” is another line introduced in the TV ad that will become more prominent in new executions in supporting media including print.
The TV execution uses panoramic shots of water in various forms: at the ocean, on the golf course and on the playing surface of a Florida Panthers hockey game.
Accompanying the visuals is a female voiceover noting the symbolic power of water. “How appropriate that Greater Fort Lauderdale, home to so much water, is also home to so much change,” she notes.
Harris said the campaign continues an ongoing effort to change the image of Fort Lauderdale from a spring break mecca overrun by college students to a “casual, sophisticated adult and family destination.”
Francine Mason, client vice president of communications, said the bureau decided to return to television advertising because it generated a higher volume of inquiries than print has in recent years.
Despite the departure from television advertising, the number of visitors to the area increased from 5.4 million in 1995 to 6.4 million in 1997. Visitor spending for the same period advanced from $3.2 billion to $3.6 billion, according to bureau figures.
The first flight of ads will air as part of a co-op program with the state of Florida, which makes the buy more economical, Mason said.
The ads are backed by $2 million-plus in spending, according to Harris. HDC’s last television ads for the client featured a cabana boy character named Al who gave tours of the beach. The new approach, Harris said, helps illustrate the range of activities tourists can pursue beyond the beach.
Later in the year, the campaign will appear with increased frequency in feeder cities including New York, Boston and Philadelphia as the regional ads are reduced.