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Bureau's Fall Tourism Campaign has its message straight even if the facts aren't

Published: Sep 28, 2015

The ad campaign plays on typical ‘Claims of Grandeur’ that consumers have come to expect from advertising. The campaign runs from Sept. 28 - Nov. 1 in Philadelphia, Washington DC, North & Central New Jersey, and Nassau-Suffolk Counties.


HARRISBURG, PA (Sept. 28, 2015) – The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) today revealed elements of the region’s new destination advertising campaign for the fall season entitled “That’s A Fact” which pushes the region’s top autumn assets in a fun way, according to tourism officials.

“The campaign takes a playful approach by poking fun at those typical ‘Claims of Grandeur’ that we are accustomed to seeing every day as consumers,” said Rick Dunlap, spokesperson for HHRVB.

According to Dunlap the inspiration for the tone of the new tourism ads was inspired by claims like “World’s Best Coffee” that tourists encounter in every coffee shop window in New York City or the clearly bloated accomplishments of a certain beer spokesperson who claims to be the “most interesting man in the world.”

The ads however stop well-short of making any claims that aren’t clearly identifiable as parody.

“It’s clear we are having fun with our claims,” said Dunlap. “We aren’t in the arena of Volkswagen with their recent emissions claims or Vibram, the producers of FiveFingers running shoes who lost a million dollar class action suit last year for claiming their product yields health benefits.”

In short, the official tourism marketing organization for the Hershey Harrisburg Region isn’t expecting any legal ramifications from families who actually burn their marshmallows while making s’mores on a fall outing in the area.

The ads are intended to be funny while still delivering a real message of all the seasonal offerings the region has for fall, according to Dunlap.

The advertising campaign slated to run from September 28 through November 1, 2015 will target Philadelphia, Washington DC, North & Central New Jersey, and Nassau-Suffolk Counties that reach consumer markets in Long Island, NY.

The bureau’s seasonal ad buy includes digital billboards and a strong digital display presence with banner ads on search sites and Pandora. According to HHRVB Marketing and Communications Director Jason Brown, this year’s media buy took a new approach with not including any traditional radio as in the past. Brown also explains the ads have diverse messaging as part of the destination’s strategy to maintain a tight focus the region’s three primary market segments: Families, Couples, and Outdoor Enthusiasts.

“The print and Pandora ads all clearly talk about things we have in our area, but then we push it beyond any reasonable claim,” said Dunlap, citing a study by Lab42 that reported 3 in 4 consumers already expect claims in advertising to be exaggerated. But those behind the HHRVB campaign believe the important results from that same research show that most consumers in the study (71%) agreed that “funny” ads made the most lasting impressions.

“Some of the funniest and most outlandish claims that consumers will hear this fall include that scarecrows hold their national convention in our corn mazes, our locally handcrafted beers are brewed from only award-winning jack-o-lanterns, our leaves are the most photogenic in the northeast, and that marshmallows roasted here never burn,” said Dunlap. “And that’s a fact… that people will hear those messages.”



Mary Smith, President & CEO of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau is available for media interviews regarding the contents of this news release. Please try to make interview requests at least 12-hours in advance. The bureau will make every effort to accommodate all interview requests. Contact Rick@HersheyHarrisburg.org or cell 717.884.3328.


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The HHRVB is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) leading economic growth for Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region through destination marketing and tourism development. The organization, accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) since 2010, is committed to actively marketing the tourism assets in Dauphin & Perry County to business and leisure travelers both domestic & international. The bureau also leads regional sales efforts to attract meeting & event organizers, sporting event producers, and group tour leaders. For more information go to VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org or call 877-727-8573. Media can use #HHRVB and #HHRVB4Media when tagging stories and social media posts related to the region.

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110