Clever Ads are the Best Ads

St. Petersburg/Clearwater is teasing Chicago, New York, and Toronto residents with their new, sunny ads. Traditionally, winter is prime time for resorts and warm states to invite frozen Northerners to defrost. But St. Petersburg/Clearwater is spicing things up a bit.

The ad campaign is enhancing conventional out-of-home advertisement tactics by adding tailored headlines to each market.  In New York, headlines read, “Wake up in a city that never sleets” and “Never mind Wall Street. Invest in some sun.” Chicago ads include, “We can show you 35 Magnificent Miles” and “Try a deep dish of happy.” Finally, Toronto ads read, “Toboggans? We’re riding waves” and “Not to brag but we’re still skiing on water.” (Elliot, 2014)


This is clever because the headlines use word play to charm each target market by exploiting phrases each city is familiar with. I have to admit, I giggled at a few of the Chicago ones, some not mentioned above. Most importantly, the headlines caught my attention and made it feel like the advertisement was created just for me.

In addition to tailoring ads to each city, the campaign also aims to mold their message to specific mediums. “Sunshine is the new caffeine” and “Coffee can only warm you up so much,” are placed on coffee sleeves. Another good example is the message above beach photos in elevators, “What’s elevated here is your mood.” (Elliot, 2014)

Customizing advertising messages engages target markets without the added expense of technology or tangible features. Instead, there is more of an emotional appeal that caters to the cold consumer’s want or need for an escape.

Joe Mitchel, Creative Director of the campaign said the “I Need Sun” campaign taps into our survival instincts at some point by responding to consumer pleas to feel and see the sun. He adds, “a powerful feeling to tap into.” (Elliot, 2014)

Although I think Mitchel might be getting ahead of himself, just a little bit, I still believe this campaign is strong and effective. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the campaign includes a sweepstake offering “the ultimate winter escape” to the lucky winner who texts “INeedSun” to 313131. (Elliot, 2014)

Personally, I am one snowstorm away from booking my trip!



Elliot, Stuart. (2014, February 3). “New Ads Urge Northerners to Follow the Sun.” NY Times.

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2 thoughts on “Clever Ads are the Best Ads

  1. I have yet to see these ads, but I do appreciate the clever twist on things thought specifically geared towards Chicago or other cities. If anything it makes me resent how long of a winter we have (even though I’ve become more than used to it growing up here).


  2. I love these ads! And I’m with you, clever ads do make me want to use the product or service they are advertising more. I’m going to Clearwater this summer so it’s making me want my trip to be here already, especially in this cold weather. I wish more people used clever phrases or location specific puns to make more amusing and entertaining ads.


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