W. Virginia Psychs Out Would-Be Tourists with 'Why Bother?' Approach
AdFreak educates us on an eyebrow-raising repositioning campaign for West Virginia. Their last tourism stint, the "desperate housewives" upper middle class ennui card, apparently yielded mediocre results because they've thrown their heirloom-encrusted hands in the air with the new "Whatever you do, don't come to West Virginia!" campaign. (And we're not quipping. That's actually the tagline.)
"There's value in the copy," says travel/marketing director Liz Chewning of WV's tourism division. "You choose the words carefully and try to surprise your reader, hooking them by saying the unexpected."
The running advertorials are a mix between news and opinion columns, sarcastically asking readers why anyone would come to West Virginia when there are beaches in the Carolinas and mega-theme parks in Florida. They then highlight the merits of the state in expectedly cheeky language.
Creatives and politicians alike are skittish about running away with a negative tone, but reverse psychology remains a popular tactic whose results always seem speculatively promising. We rarely find out whether they are, which might mean they, well, aren't. But hey, we've done all kinds of things we were told not to do so the notion lives on.