Part of the Atlantic City Alliance’s marketing campaign to boost tourism has been a DO AC car-magnet giveaway that’s grown into a bit of a craze.
Seeing a plane toting a banner over the beaches may prompt a scant few people to actually get up and seek out the product, and fewer of those viewing a bumper sticker could care less if your kid got on the honor roll, but these are things marketing strategists know remain in the minds of people who see them, even if only briefly at first.
In the same vein, what the Atlantic City Alliance (ACA) hopes happens is that someone 60 miles inland sees a DO AC car magnet mid-week, wonders at work on a Friday morning what they might do for fun over the weekend, then says to themselves “Hey, maybe I’ll do AC!”
The ACA initially had 50,000 magnets printed in multiple colors and given away at select spots like its Boardwalk and AC Expressway visitors centers, the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the Atlantic Avenue county office building and at select community centers. It blew through the first batch, had a second order of 30,000 printed up, and recently put in a third order when the second got gobbled up like 5 ½-inch round magnetized hotcakes.
“It’s been so popular,” says Liza Cartmell, chief executive officer of the ACA. “We feel good about it in the sense that we were hoping to encourage the local population to really feel a part of the campaign, because being fundamentally a hospitality destination we really need to make sure that everyone is on the same page. So the fact that people are really embracing it as fun concept — because that’s really what the campaign is about, explaining that this is a fun place to come to for whatever you like to do — the fact that everybody really wants to be supportive of that is great in the sense that it shows that people hopefully feel good about the campaign and the messages its trying to convey.”
Cartmell says she’s been amazed and encouraged by the community’s show of support since the ACA’s marketing campaign began.
“I think it’s tapped into something really interesting that I sort of ran into when I first started this job [in Oct. 2011], and that is that there’s so many people who just want to help,” she says. “They feel really good about it, they’re really proud of where they are, they’re proud of Atlantic City and they can relate to its heritage and its history. People have been so generous in saying ‘I want to help, what can I do?’ And this is just a small way that allows people to say ‘I can do something.’”
The mission of the ACA, a recently created non-profit entity funded and overseen by the casinos, is to boost tourism in Atlantic City by showcasing the resort’s numerous and diversified attractions.
“[The magnets have] been an excellent marketing tool,” says Cartmell (pictured right). “Cars are everywhere, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. One of our strategies as we look to evolve has been that you have to go big and broad on media initially, but over time we’d like to figure out how to be a lot more economic in terms of how we market ourselves. This has been an inexpensive way to get the basic message across in an expensive media market.”
How much of an impact the ACA has had on growing tourism in Atlantic City is difficult to say, according to Cartmell, because formal research studies are still being tabulated. What can be seen on the surface has been encouraging, however.
On Tuesday morning, April 9, the ACA, CRDA and ACCVA teamed up for a presentation at the Sheraton to unveil new DO AC spring/summer campaign and highlight other new initiatives in the city from Margaritaville to Revel's new beach bar. Watch the new ad videos here.
“We must commit to continuing to create memories for future generations. I want this to be a smart, quick recovery, but a heartfelt one as well. I hope this is your mission too.”
The recently publicized statistics telling us there are still upwards of 30 percent of the population on the East Coast who think that the Boardwalk was completely ruined and that most casinos are still not fully operational means we have a lot of work to do.
Recently the ACA gave its popular DO AC magnets a holiday makeover of sorts, producing limited-edition discs with glittering metallic red, green, gold and silver backgrounds.
The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority offers the following suggestions to "DO AC Free For The Holidays."
As New Jersey Gov. Christie might say ‘Why fly to the desert when you can Do AC this fall?’
One of the longest-running productions in the international cache of shows known as Cirque du Soleil — character-driven shows blending circus styles from around the world into a central theme or storyline — is making its first-ever appearance in Atlantic City through Sept. 2.
Great free entertainment and events in Atlantic City take place all weekend long, through sponsorship, entertainment grants and funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). Here is a list of fun and exciting ways to DO AC for free July 27-29.
The stars have been out in full force this summer in the Atlantic City region. Here are some photos, including Sarah Silverman, Sarah McLachlan, Cedric The Entertainer, Ocean City and Atlantic City fireworks, Jazz on the Beach debut, DJ Pauly D and more.
The perception is that it’s all about gaming [in Atlantic City]. And clearly it’s much more than that so that’s the opportunity, to make sure that doesn’t happen."
The goal of the campaign is to build a year-round visitor base and shift consumer perception of the resort.
Further, as Atlantic City Weekly has learned earlier this week that two key associates at the CRDA who were spearheading an Arts District campaign for Mississippi Avenue in the Ducktown neighborhood of the resort, are both no longer with the CRDA,
Although the Tourism District Master Plan is due Feb. 1, it won't be presented to the public on that date. However, the CRDA will present the master plan to the public on Monday, March 26, at noon.
The casino industry is focused on supporting the re-branding of Atlantic City as a comprehensive resort destination, and Borgata is doing its part with a newly created campaign called "The Show That Never Ends." With creative assistance from SK+G Advertising, the campaign focuses on spontaneity, fun and exclusive nightlife excitement.