Shop Talk: Shivering Northerners get a look at Marco area via big billboards

CHRIS CURLE
Wine wine everywhere? No it just seems that way at the "big" Publix on Marco Island these days. Manager Kevin Donlan is offer a lot of "buy one get one" specials on a variety of wines rotating their way through the store from now until about Easter. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

Wine wine everywhere? No it just seems that way at the "big" Publix on Marco Island these days. Manager Kevin Donlan is offer a lot of "buy one get one" specials on a variety of wines rotating their way through the store from now until about Easter. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

Have you ever noticed in large cities that sometimes billboards around town carry bigger-than-life photos of the local TV anchor people?

The theory is, if people see those giant images enough, the public will want to watch the newsies on TV too.

It’s a proven advertising technique; Ted Turner made a fortune in billboard advertising before his cable TV empire flourished.

Now people in the Chicago and New York City areas are getting similar eyefuls of larger-than-life looks at Marco Island, Naples and the Everglades.

Our local tourism promoters are sending some clear messages to denizens of those two northern markets – that we are enjoying warm, sunny winter here, they should shed the chills and chilblains and come on down.

The theme of the ad campaign is, “That’s why they call it Paradise.” The billboards in Chicago show a thermometer display showing our real-time temperature here.

In New York, billboard scenes of our white sand beaches should make frosty commuters look around, check out their gray days and then check in with their airlines about flights to here. It is hoped the ear-muffed, mittened hordes in those two cities will go online to www.paradisecoast.com and feel all warm and fuzzy about their getaway in the making.

“The New York and Chicago areas are important markets for us, and in today’s marketplace, many people make travel decisions on the spur of the moment based upon a marketing message that resonates with them at that particular time,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We want to remind them that when they are looking to escape the harsh Northeast and Midwest winters, they can hop a short flight and be in paradise.”

This tourism campaign comes atop a pretty good 2011. Wert offers stats showing that last year ended positively. For last December, visitors’ direct spending in Collier County was up 19.7 percent. Also, research shows that 1,489,900 people stayed in hotels or short term vacation lodging in 2011. Direct visitor expenditures for 2011 were $865,184,700, an increase of 10.6 percent, and the annual total economic impact from tourism was $1,289,990,388, also an increase of 10.6 percent.

The pro’s know what they’re doing in getting major tourism numbers for our area, but even they probably agree that word of mouth praise for our “Paradise” may be the best possible promotion of all.

So all you Twitterers and Facebookers and Linkedinnies could have an impact if you chose to max your social media mania. Remember the slogan: “That’s why they call it Paradise.”

Twofers rule at special Publix wine sales

“Buy One Get One Free is for Me” is a slogan many of us flock to. Isn’t it fun to find a twofer offer on a product you would often buy or buy more often if it were on sale?

That’s what’s going on at the “big” Public on Marco right now. It a several-month promotion on an array of wines, with the hard-to-ignore “Buy One Get One Free” signs on them.

We found one twofer sale on a wine we’ve enjoyed for many years. Getting it that price was irresistible and worthwhile.

Public store manager Kevin Donlan says the wine specials will rotate over the weeks and the twofer promotions will last until about Easter.

For a little context we checked some facts about wine sales and consumption in this country and found, courtesy the Wine Institute and www.catchwine.com.

n In 2010, the US surpassed France as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation

n Wineries now exist in all 50 states.

n As best we can glean, Florida has at least 28 wineries. A few of their fun names: Henscratch Farms, Schnebly, Mitillini and Bunker Hill.

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail chris@chriscurle.com. Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: don@donfarmer.com.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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