Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Thursday, June 03, 2004

media and society

-- media and society -- philadelphia freedom?

For some reason, and I really don't know why, this ad campaign makes me think of the Village People song, "In the Navy" -- the part where they sing, "We want you! We want you! We want you as a new recruit!" It's not anywhere near that strident or in-your-face aggressive ... but somehow, I just keep thinking of that. - Daily News: Philly Debuts Gay Commercial in Tourism Campaign
June 1, 2004 News

A new tourism commercial aimed at gay and lesbian travelers debuted in Philadelphia yesterday. With a budget of $1.7 million, the city's new gay-friendly advertising campaign is the largest of its kind ever for a U.S. city, according to city tourism officials.

"This is an invitation, that you (gays) are welcome here, because of what Philadelphia is and what Philadelphia has to offer, and because we have a strong gay community," said Meryl Levitz, president and chief executive of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, which is sponsoring the ad campaign. "And we're not saying it's a gay destination; it's a gay-friendly destination."

The commercial, which aired for the first time Tuesday in Philadelphia and will be seen around the country, ends with the tag line: "Come to Philadelphia. Get your history straight and your nightlife gay."....

So far, there's been relatively little stir from the usual conservative suspects. Once they actually see the ad, however, they're quite likely to hit the roof. I mean, the very idea that there were gay people in colonial America! That our forefathers would have invited them to Philadelphia! Fa! Such a concept would give them the vapors!

Pen Pals (; Quicktime required; link to the commercial video is in the left column of the abovelinked page)
Brand: Philadelphia
Company: Greater Philadelphia Tourism & Marketing Corp.
Business Category: Travel/Tourism Bureaus
Region: North America

A turn-of-the-century looking gentleman writes a letter with a quill pen, "My dearest beloved, how I long to be with you again, to see your radiant smile. Please journey to Philadelphia, where we will be at liberty to meet this Monday, at Independence Hall, as the clock strikes six."...

The entire Greater Philadelphia Tourism & Marketing Corp. campaign, which seems to have started in print late last year, is an interesting (and so far, solitary) departure from the normal chamber of commerce type ads. You'd think that San Francisco or Key West or Palm Springs or even (perhaps especially) New York or some town/city somewhere would have run those sorts of ads by now, but it turns out that while all of those cities have similarly toned ad campaigns (do a search for those towns in the Commercial Closet's search box, and remember to click on submit instead of hitting Enter/Return), they've all been for print; Philadelphia is the first city to try it on television. Odd, considering that Philadelphia's gay community isn't particularly well known outside the city. Or perhaps not odd, for that very reason.

My, my, my, how we are grown as a desirable market. First Orbitz and their Thunderbirds ads during Queer Eye, and now the city of brotherly love itself. Whoever will come up with another ad aimed at us next?

Posted by iain at 01:31 PM in category media and society