Gyro Confuses Real Life with The Onion, Proposes “Ugly Philly” Campaign

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Philadelphia-based Gyro Worldwide (“Breakin’ the Rules since 1988”) has devised a new tourism campaign for its hometown premised on the much buzzed about designation of Philly as the “Ugliest City in America,” based on a Travel & Leisure online poll. The agency has created a series of ads that feature “simple, documentary-style photography that tells it like is,” capturing startling unattractive people and taglines such as “Come Visit Uglytown U.S.A!” [cut to shot of director John Waters rolling his eyes and chortling at this way off-tone attempt to mimic his campily clever love/hate approach to Baltimore]

“I’m from Philly. My ancestors are from Philly. And it seems every day I see new levels of ugliness. It’s time we cashed in on our heinousness,” says Gyro CEO Steven Grasse.

Gyro says that it will propose the campaign to the board of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, suggesting that it run “in hipster publications that beautiful people look at such as Surface, BlackBook, and Nylon.” Their rationale? “Beautiful People love to feel superior to everyone else,” according to Grasse.

Is this a Halloween trick (a couple of days early) or just an astonishingly bad idea?