Bucks County launches viral tourism campaign

BENSALEM, PA: The Bucks County, PA, Conference and Visitors Bureau, working with AOR Oxford Communications, recently launched a series of viral videos with a presidential tie-in to promote the county's tourist offerings.

BENSALEM, PA: The Bucks County, PA, Conference and Visitors Bureau, working with AOR Oxford Communications, recently launched a series of viral videos with a presidential tie-in to promote the county's tourist offerings. Less than 75 miles southwest of New York City, the county is known for its picturesque countryside, historic sites, and bed and breakfasts.

Using a spoof of country's first president, George Washington, the four episodes, and a behind-the-scenes program, depict Washington visiting landmarks and historic venues throughout the county while planning and campaigning to defeat Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ) in the 2008 presidential election. David West, marketing director for the Visitors Bureau noted that Bucks County is home to the location where Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River during frigid conditions in December, 1776, so an association with the current presidential race fit in well, too.

“This campaign is designed to have more of an emotional appeal, and we use comedy to reach our audience and interject how historic Bucks County is and show the many attractions we have,” he said. “That's really the message that savvy consumers today want to have. They don't want to be told what to do; they want to be entertained and say, ‘That's a cool place I want to check out.'”

West said it is specifically targeting 18- to 45-year olds, as well as other demographics that view viral videos, with the approximately $40,000 effort. Gretchen Ramsey, Oxford VP of brand culture, said it hopes to show nearby New Yorkers that Bucks Co. is a creative and cultural destination.

A Web site is showcasing the videos, which debuted August 14 and are also available on YouTube. The “campaign” site, which links to the bureau's homepage, is also selling merchandise emblazoned with the effort's logo.

Other components of the campaign include media outreach targeting marketing and advertising trade publications, political bloggers, and national and local general interest media, Ramsey said.

Future videos could be filmed if the campaign, which uses the tagline, “I was here first,” is a success, West added.

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