Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Pinellas Park drinks up publicity of national vodka campaign

PINELLAS PARK

When you're the Rodney Dangerfield of cities, you learn to be clever.

Clever in Pinellas Park's case means officials did not get mad over a national ad campaign that could have been seen as a slur. Instead, they've used it as a springboard for their own ad campaign to promote city businesses.

"It's that old make lemonade thing," city spokesman Tim Caddell said, referring to the saying, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

The "lemon" is a billboard ad for Wodka vodka. The billboards, displayed in Hillsborough County, show a sheep in a sombrero standing next to a bottle of Wodka with the tagline "Hyde Park quality, Pinellas Park pricing." One of the billboards stands at the exit to International Plaza and another on Dale Mabry Highway between Raymond James Stadium and the interstate.

It's unclear how the makers of Wodka, or their ad people, knew about Pinellas Park. Company officials could not be reached for comment. But the billboards are a localized version of part of the company's national ad campaign.

It's an ad campaign that has offended some, according to news reports. But Pinellas Park, which has a long history of being the brunt of insults and jokes, took it differently.

"We've had people punching us for years," Caddell said. "As being kicked goes, this is pretty light. It's hard to get too worked up over that."

Caddell said he first saw the billboard when leaving International Plaza. He took a picture of it.

"Our first thought was, 'Gee, people in Tampa know where Pinellas Park is, we've come a long way,'" Caddell said.

But, he also saw it as a good thing: "If they want to put a billboard up in front of International (Plaza) saying we've got better prices, come on down."

City officials kind of shrugged and let it go. Then, an idea germinated.

The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce had already begun a "buy local" campaign directed at city residents.

"This other thing kind of came up. (We thought), well, if they're telling people to shop here, we might as well take advantage of it," Caddell said.

Caddell used the city's LED signs to kick off the campaign with the slogans "Hyde quality, low prices, shop Pinellas Park" and "Tampa knows our prices are low! Shop Pinellas Park."

"We may expand our shop Pinellas Park promotion if we can find a way to do it," he said. "Of course, we don't have a budget for it so we have to rely on other companies putting up big billboards for us."

In the long run, Caddell said, the Wodka billboard might not be such a bad thing.

"I'm sure they weren't really looking to help us, but we take what we can get."

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Comments
Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

The first time deputies arrested Samuel Morrissey Jr., he faced charges of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed firearm. He plead no contest in September, and the judge gave him a break by withholding adjudication. Ten days later, the 20-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

TAMPA — The Lightning closed out its quarterfinal series against the Devils with a suffocating defensive effort.The Devils finally solved Andrei Vasilevskiy in the waning moments with goalie Cory Schneider on the bench and the Devils skati...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

LOS ANGELES — Actor Verne Troyer from the Austin Powers movie franchise has died. A statement provided by Troyer’s spokesperson that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts says the 49-year-old actor died Saturday. No cause or place of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

A 49-year-old woman died early Saturday in a single-car crash on State Road 580.The vehicle was driving in the eastbound lanes of SR 580 when it failed to round a curve and veered off the road near Charles Avenue, a Clearwater Police Department state...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live blog: Lightning aims to eliminate Devils in Game 5

Live blog: Lightning aims to eliminate Devils in Game 5

Follow our live coverage of the opening-round NHL playoff series between the Lightning and New Jersey Devils. Times reporters, editors, sports columnists and photo journalists will chronicle the action on and off the ice through updates, analysis, ph...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, with a familiar look

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, with a familiar look

UPDATE, 4:17: CF Kevin Kiermaier was back at the Trop, and at one point on the field with a glove on his left hand and protective wrapping on his right, the day after surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right thumb. He said the surgery went "as good ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays will go forth with Chirinos as fourth starter

Rays will go forth with Chirinos as fourth starter

The Rays have made it official – or as official as things can be with them – in naming RHP Yonny Chirinos as the fourth starter in their rotation.The Rays had been using three, and two "Bullpen Day" slots when playing five straight days.B...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Cops used dead man's finger in attempt to unlock his phone

Cops used dead man's finger in attempt to unlock his phone

Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal. What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate.
Updated: 6 hours ago
A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

The young man in a white jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled, looked past the throng of reporters pointing microphones toward his face, barely opening his mouth as he answered questions."I shot through the door," he said, looking at a female repor...
Updated: 6 hours ago