ST. PETERSBURG — A new ad campaign and website unveiled Tuesday is aimed at getting locals and visitors to embrace a new view of St. Petersburg and realize it's no longer God's waiting room. Radio ads touting "Surprising St. Pete" have started and surprisingstpete.com is online now. Print ads will begin soon.
"We need to rebrand. We are this thriving city with this thriving nightlife," Mayor Bill Foster told a crowd of about 80 people on the front steps of the Museum of Fine Arts. "Don't let anyone lead you to say I don't believe in evolution because when it comes to this downtown we are evolving."
Paradise Advertising designed the campaign, which features vivid pictures of the Salvador Dalí Museum and Parkshore Grill chef Tyson Grant holding a flaming pan. Bold letters tout sailboats, banyan trees, Dalí, Chihuly, go-go dancers and the mystery monkey. The city paid Paradise just under $50,000. The agency donated more than that in time and talent, according to its president, Cedar Hames.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau works on getting visitors from outside the area here, while this campaign will attract them to St. Petersburg once they are here, Hames said. It will also draw Hillsborough and Manatee residents who haven't seen all the museums and changes along Beach Drive, he said.