Dempsey gives Visit Florida an assist in PSA campaign

TALLAHASSEE, FL: Visit Florida will launch a PSA campaign next month featuring actor Patrick Dempsey as part of its in-state tourism advocacy program.

TALLAHASSEE, FL: Visit Florida will launch a PSA campaign next month featuring actor Patrick Dempsey as part of its in-state tourism advocacy program.  

The PSA campaign, which will feature Dempsey's racecar driving, supports Florida's “Share a Little Sunshine” initiative. Its goal is to increase travel and tourism among Florida residents, said Will Seccombe, CMO of Visit Florida.

The state tourism organization first partnered with Dempsey two years ago when the actor became the driver for the No. 40 VisitFlorida.com/Share a Little Sunshine car in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, he added. Mazda, one of Visit Florida's strategic marketing partners, helped to form the partnership, Seccombe said.

“The goal is to increase awareness among Floridians of the Share a little Sunshine platform,” he said. “That platform is the idea is that if Floridians invite friends and family to visit the state, they can have a fantastic experience and help the economy.”

For every 85 consumers who visit Florida, the state can create one job, Seccombe added. The tourism organization hired Ketchum as its AOR last month.

Although the campaign does not officially launch until March 1, Visit Florida is teasing the videos on TV through partnerships with the Florida Association of Broadcasters and the Florida Telecommunications Association, explained Seccombe. Boutique creative shop Spark developed the PSAs. The videos are also available on YouTube and on the Share a Little Sunshine Facebook page.

Seccombe added that Florida-based US destination publisher Miles Media Group, a direct marketing partner of Visit Florida, is promoting the campaign by tweeting and producing content for the organization's website.  

To generate buzz, Seccombe said Dempsey, who launched his own Twitter account last month, will post tweets about the advocacy initiative and upcoming races. Between Dempsey's two Twitter accounts, @PatrickDempsey and @GoDempseyRacing, the celebrity has more than 76,000 followers.

Seccombe said Visit Florida decided to launch PSAs about Dempsey's racing because the state has “an amazingly rich tradition of racing.” He added that by leveraging the partnership with the actor, Visit Florida can reach a wide demographic, appealing to fans of both the sport and Dempsey.

The actor will also be do interviews and sign autographs during an upcoming race in Homestead, FL.

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