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AD TOUTS V.I. AS 'FIRST PLACE SUN RISES ON U.S. SOIL'

Oct. 18, 2001 – The Virgin Islands took its come-visit message to mainland America in print Thursday, in a half-page color advertisement that appeared in The Washington Post and other major newspapers.
The vertical ad, about 12 inches in height, features a photo of a sunrise as seen from the top of St. John looking over Coral Bay toward Peter and Norman Islands. The headline reads "We're the first place the sun rises on U.S. soil," with a lower line completing the thought: "And it is an honor that warms our hearts."
The text continues: "We may not live on the USA mainland but we are Americans at heart. We share your hopes for a free and peaceful future. And we invite you to share in the beauty of our islands. To plan your visit, call 800-372-USVI, your travel agent or visit usvitourism.vi."
The closing lines read:
Proud To Be
United States Virgin Islands
St. Croix / St. John / St. Thomas.
According to Sebastian Benjamin at Ogilvy & Mather in Atlanta, the V.I. government's advertising agency, this is the first of three newspaper ads in an overall marketing outreach with "Sea to Shining Sea" as its theme. "There will be another coming out Sunday," he said, adding, "We're still working on the campaign."
The print ads are scheduled to appear in the New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and San Juan Star, in addition to the Washington Post.
One former New York ad agency professional now living in Washington gave the ad in Thursday's Post a grade of B-minus for visual and informational impact. "Nice graphics, nice sentiments," he said. He faulted the headline for being "hard to read, being in light blue on a white background and in too small type." But, he said, the "we are Americans at heart" line nicely understates the territory's ties to the nation.
A former V.I. resident now living in the nation's capital said the ad in Thursday's Post "looks very nice … with a pretty color picture."
In a press release distributed Thursday, Martin Public Relations, the government's public relations agency, described the new multimedia tourism marketing campaign as highlighting the "ease of travel to America's Caribbean" as well as the idea that the Virgin Islands offers "an exotic vacation that feels much like home." The release said the territory is served by daily non-stop service during the winter season from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Miami, New York/JFK, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington.
In addition to appearing in newspapers, print ads will be seen in Bon Appetit, Town & Country, Bride's, Modern Bride and Travel Weekly magazines. Television spots will air on CNN, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel and ESPN, and radio spots are currently running on stations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
The territory also will have ad space during the winter season on ABC's super-screen in New York City's Times Square; on outdoor billboards in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago and Philadelphia; and on 570 New York City subway cars.
To counter plummeting tourism bookings since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the Tourism Department has committed $6.5 million to "an aggressive advertising and public relations campaign" aimed at promoting travel to "America's Caribbean," the Martin release states. The new campaign added to marketing plans already in place for the coming tourist season "increases the USVI's marketing budget to a record $17 million," it said.
The release quotes Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards as saying, "This is the first time the Department of Tourism has made advancements of this magnitude to generate such a strong national presence. Our goal throughout the new marketing and public relations campaign is to emphasize the ease of travel to America's Caribbean — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas — and show all Americans that the USVI is one of the most beautiful getaways under the United States flag."
While the coming tourism season still appears strong for cruise ships, officials of the territory's two hotel and tourism associations have reported occupancy rates of as little as 10 percent since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and some properties have laid off employees.
Last weekend, officials of the Caribbean Community — CARICOM — agreed to embark on an $18 million regional tourism marketing campaign, mostly via television and mainly targeting the United States, Britain and Canada. Non-member countries that are members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization are expected to contribute $5.5 million to the effort. The Virgin Islands has long been active in the CTO, which is headquartered in Barbados.
While most elements of the "Sea to Shining Sea" campaign are scheduled for release in October and November, the marketing effort is to continue into the 2002 winter season.
According to the Martin P.R. release, the Tourism Department plans to have a strong presence at the 71st World Travel Congress of the American Society of Travel Agents Nov. 4-7 in New York City, promoting new travel specials and emphasizing the ease of travel to "America's Caribbean." Also, it said, musicians from the Territorial Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra will play before "many audiences throughout New York City … at an array of noteworthy venues."

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Oct. 18, 2001 - The Virgin Islands took its come-visit message to mainland America in print Thursday, in a half-page color advertisement that appeared in The Washington Post and other major newspapers.
The vertical ad, about 12 inches in height, features a photo of a sunrise as seen from the top of St. John looking over Coral Bay toward Peter and Norman Islands. The headline reads "We're the first place the sun rises on U.S. soil," with a lower line completing the thought: "And it is an honor that warms our hearts."
The text continues: "We may not live on the USA mainland but we are Americans at heart. We share your hopes for a free and peaceful future. And we invite you to share in the beauty of our islands. To plan your visit, call 800-372-USVI, your travel agent or visit usvitourism.vi."
The closing lines read:
Proud To Be
United States Virgin Islands
St. Croix / St. John / St. Thomas.
According to Sebastian Benjamin at Ogilvy & Mather in Atlanta, the V.I. government's advertising agency, this is the first of three newspaper ads in an overall marketing outreach with "Sea to Shining Sea" as its theme. "There will be another coming out Sunday," he said, adding, "We're still working on the campaign."
The print ads are scheduled to appear in the New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and San Juan Star, in addition to the Washington Post.
One former New York ad agency professional now living in Washington gave the ad in Thursday's Post a grade of B-minus for visual and informational impact. "Nice graphics, nice sentiments," he said. He faulted the headline for being "hard to read, being in light blue on a white background and in too small type." But, he said, the "we are Americans at heart" line nicely understates the territory's ties to the nation.
A former V.I. resident now living in the nation's capital said the ad in Thursday's Post "looks very nice ... with a pretty color picture."
In a press release distributed Thursday, Martin Public Relations, the government's public relations agency, described the new multimedia tourism marketing campaign as highlighting the "ease of travel to America's Caribbean" as well as the idea that the Virgin Islands offers "an exotic vacation that feels much like home." The release said the territory is served by daily non-stop service during the winter season from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Miami, New York/JFK, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington.
In addition to appearing in newspapers, print ads will be seen in Bon Appetit, Town & Country, Bride's, Modern Bride and Travel Weekly magazines. Television spots will air on CNN, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel and ESPN, and radio spots are currently running on stations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
The territory also will have ad space during the winter season on ABC's super-screen in New York City's Times Square; on outdoor billboards in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago and Philadelphia; and on 570 New York City subway cars.
To counter plummeting tourism bookings since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the Tourism Department has committed $6.5 million to "an aggressive advertising and public relations campaign" aimed at promoting travel to "America's Caribbean," the Martin release states. The new campaign added to marketing plans already in place for the coming tourist season "increases the USVI's marketing budget to a record $17 million," it said.
The release quotes Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards as saying, "This is the first time the Department of Tourism has made advancements of this magnitude to generate such a strong national presence. Our goal throughout the new marketing and public relations campaign is to emphasize the ease of travel to America's Caribbean -- St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas -- and show all Americans that the USVI is one of the most beautiful getaways under the United States flag."
While the coming tourism season still appears strong for cruise ships, officials of the territory's two hotel and tourism associations have reported occupancy rates of as little as 10 percent since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and some properties have laid off employees.
Last weekend, officials of the Caribbean Community -- CARICOM -- agreed to embark on an $18 million regional tourism marketing campaign, mostly via television and mainly targeting the United States, Britain and Canada. Non-member countries that are members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization are expected to contribute $5.5 million to the effort. The Virgin Islands has long been active in the CTO, which is headquartered in Barbados.
While most elements of the "Sea to Shining Sea" campaign are scheduled for release in October and November, the marketing effort is to continue into the 2002 winter season.
According to the Martin P.R. release, the Tourism Department plans to have a strong presence at the 71st World Travel Congress of the American Society of Travel Agents Nov. 4-7 in New York City, promoting new travel specials and emphasizing the ease of travel to "America's Caribbean." Also, it said, musicians from the Territorial Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra will play before "many audiences throughout New York City ... at an array of noteworthy venues."