The Big Apple Gets a Taste of Sweet Home Alabama
The Alabama Tourism Department’s “This is Alabama” campaign
recently gave quintessential New York attractions a Southern makeover. In
Herald Square, passersby kicked off their shoes, dug their toes into white
beach sand imported from Baldwin County and posed against the backdrop of
Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Local sounds and ocean scents wafted out of the booth to
replicate the experience of a trip to the beach.
In the Chelsea Triangle, 1,000 visitors tried Alabama’s take on cheesecake with the press of a button. Award-winning Alabama goat cheese maker Belle Chevre provided the twist to the New York staple, which was delivered through a human vending machine.
The aim of the campaign was to educate potential tourists—both New Yorkers and those visiting—about what Alabama has to offer. Also, to drive traffic to the state’s vacation-planning website, which features an events calendar, suggests road trips and offers a free vacation guide. Ultimately, the objective is to increase tourism to the state.
“There’s no denying that Alabama offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historic importance and rich culture,” said Lee Sentell, Director of the Alabama Tourism Department. “We feel offering a one-of-a-kind blend of technology, interactive experiences and Southern hospitality presents an opportunity to display Alabama in a memorable fashion that accurately sums up the state as an ideal travel destination.”
Leading up to the activations, interactive billboards on Watts and Thompson Streets encouraged commuters to tune in to radio station 87.9 FM. While within 400 feet the billboards, listeners could enjoy enticing and relaxing sounds “from all over Alabama.”
The week wrapped with rides on a double-decker sightseeing bus wrapped with Alabama scenery and a #SweetHomeAL hashtag. The tour hit NYC landmarks as a guide told stories that connected the city to the Southern state. Alabama musicians played live music on the top deck.