Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jan 26 2016

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Debuts New TV Commercial

Spot Showcases Philly’s Well-Known & Lesser-Known Tourist Draws

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® debuted a new television commercial today—a fun, over-the-top spot that honors the city’s beloved icons while showing off the many other enjoyments that make Philadelphia such a popular place to visit and stay overnight. Created in partnership with Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, the commercial is part of the destination marketing organization’s With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign and the first VISIT PHILADELPHIA spot to air on television since 2011. It is viewable at visitphilly.com/philazillas.

“Cheesesteaks and history are legendary in Philadelphia, and deservedly so,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “But we want people to realize that there’s a lot more to this city, and it’s all deserving of attention: the waterfronts, the parks, the restaurants, the bars, the culture, the walkability. Our new commercial shows off these wonders, and every one of them is a great reason to visit Philadelphia. You’ll definitely need more than a day to get it all in though.”

The Concept & Strategy Behind It:
In the spot entitled “Philazillas,” a larger-than-life Benjamin Franklin and a just-as-big cheesesteak vie for the spotlight during an outrageous tiff that leaves a visitor asking, “What’s with them?,” and her taxi driver responding, “Oh those two. They’re always fighting for attention.” The tongue-in-cheek spot ends with the tagline: There’s more to a legendary city than its legends.

Research commissioned by VISIT PHILADELPHIA in 2015 found that while most leisure travelers acknowledged Philadelphia’s iconic sites, they seek fun and authentic experiences, restaurants, nightlife, art and walkability for urban destination getaways. That’s why “Philazillas” shows off the many city features that compel travelers to visit.

“The challenge in developing a spot that broadens people’s perspectives about what makes Philly great was having a bit of fun with the two things the city is most famous for—cheesesteaks and history,” said Steve Red, president and chief creative officer, Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. “But at the same time, it was important to acknowledge their legendary status and importance to the city.”

Why Now?:
Philadelphia has hit records and milestones in recent years, with 39.7 million total visitors in 2014 and 77% occupancy at Center City hotels and an historic visit from Pope Francis in 2015. To keep this momentum going, it’s important for Philadelphia to stay top of mind for people making decisions about their next vacation or even contemplating a new location for their home or business. That means getting the Philadelphia message out to them on all possible platforms, including on TVs and digital screens.

The Media Buy:
Video consumption across many platforms is at an all-time high, and it’s imperative for VISIT PHILADELPHIA to reach consumers in these spaces. The destination-marketing organization secured a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development grant to promote visitation to Philadelphia through video on screens of all sorts—TV, desktop, mobile and tablet devices—in 2016. This multi-screen grant helps extend the messaging of the With Love campaign to a wider audience.

There are three versions of the commercial: 60 seconds, 30 seconds and 15 seconds. The 60-second version tells the most robust story, and that iteration will appear online and on VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s websites and social media properties. Due to a limited budget, the shorter versions will run on television and online as part of the paid advertising buy.

The “Philazillas” spot will complement VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s core media buy, which will feature creative on digital and out-of-home advertising in the New York and Philadelphia DMAs. The commercial will run on broadcast and cable networks in three flights: February 1-21, July 11-31 and September 5-18, 2016. In addition, it will appear online through media distribution partners such as Lin Digital, TubeMogul, Facebook and YouTube.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Contact(s):
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Related Releases

Jul 14 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Marks World Emoji Day With New Philly Stickers

Philly Emojis Now Available For Apple's Messages App

In honor of World Emoji Day, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, the region’s official tourism marketing agency, today announced the launch of its sticker pack, featuring expressive Philly-themed illustrations and animations that locals and visitors can use in iMessage chats on iPhones and iPads.

The sticker pack features 33 shareable emojis that give Apple users a creative way to talk about the City of Brotherly Love in their private day-to-day messages. Graphics include an animated Liberty Bell with heart-eyes, a Philly cheesesteak, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s own “XOXO” from the beloved With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign and, of course, an illustration of

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Jun 20 2017

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Philly In Top Three On Best Places To Visit In The USA List

City Also Lands On Best Historic Destinations List

U.S. News & World Report today released its Best Rankings, and Philadelphia ranked #2 on two key travel lists: Best Places to Visit in the USA and Best Historic Destinations in the USA—great timing as travelers prepare to make their summer travel plans. The rankings are based on an analysis of expert and consumer opinions.

The Best Places to Visit in the USA list features New York City, Philadelphia and Honolulu in the top three spots, while the Best Historic Destinations list includes New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco highest in its ranking.

“Everyone should have Philadelphia, New

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Jun 14 2017

Summer Brings Seasonal Perks For The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Visitors Now Receive Dining Discounts, Plus Indego & PHLASH Passes Return

The popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package returns for the summer with seasonal perks, plus its ever-valuable and convenient free hotel parking. Bookable now at visitphilly.com/overnight, the summer edition runs from June 16 to September 4, 2017.

For stays beginning June 16, guests receive: free hotel parking; passes for Indego, the City of Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; tickets for the PHLASH downtown loop, stopping at more than 20 Philly attractions; $20 for use at any of Chef Jose Garces’ Philadelphia restaurants; $20 toward dinner at the Moshulu, a restaurant within a Tall Ship permanently docked at Penn’s Landing; and roller

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May 24 2017

2016 Shows Record Visitation Again To Greater Philadelphia

Five-County Region Welcomed 42 Million Visitors Last Year

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced yesterday that Greater Philadelphia—that’s Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties—welcomed 42 million domestic visitors in 2016. This marks the seventh consecutive year for record visitation and a 2.4% increase over 2015. Of those 42 million visitors, 37 million (88%) visited for a leisure purpose. More details appear in VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s annual report, downloadable at visitphilly.com/annualreport.

“Since 1997, Philadelphia has become a better destination—with investments in the region’s attractions, art, history, culture and parks—all of which have been amplified by consistent marketing,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “Today, Philadelphia is a

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May 3 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Marks National Travel & Tourism Week

New Video Welcomes All People To Visit With Love

To celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), taking place from May 7-13, 2017, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today released a video highlighting the people who welcome visitors to Philadelphia every day. Entitled the “Faces of Travel,” the video supports the U.S. Travel Association’s NTTW 2017 theme and invites travelers to Philadelphia. It echoes VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s 20-year tradition of extending inviting and love-filled messages to potential visitors. The video is viewable on YouTube.

“Philadelphia is the City—and region—of Brotherly Love, and our campaigns have long had a welcoming message of love and inclusion to reflect that,” said Meryl Levitz, president

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Mar 17 2017

The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package Springs Into A New Season

Indeg & PHLASH Bus Passes Return To The Popular Package That Always Includes Free Hotel Parking

This spring, the popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package includes not only its always-offered-and-convenient free hotel parking, but extra perks that make it easier for visitors to get around once they arrive too. Bookable now at visitphilly.com/overnight for stays beginning on March 20, 2017, the spring edition of the package comes with free passes for Indego, the City of Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; free tickets for the PHLASH downtown loop, which stops at more than 20 Philly attractions; credit toward an Uber ride and $50 in SugarHouse Casino perks.

“There’s nothing quite like spring in Philadelphia,” said Meryl Levitz, president and

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Mar 10 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Debuts 360-Degree Photo, Video & Virtual Reality Experience

New Digital Content Showcases Philadelphia Before Visitors Arrive

Philadelphia fans and potential visitors can now see the city in a new way before they arrive thanks to VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s 360-degree photography and video with virtual-reality capabilities. Visitors to visitphilly.com/virtual-tour will be able to explore 25 panoramic, 360-degree photos; watch a three-minute, 360-degree video; and view that video in virtual reality (VR)—as an immersive tour on a VR headset.

“Every day we give online visitors compelling reasons to plan a trip to Philadelphia, and we believe this new view of the city will give the 20 million people who use visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com each year even more reasons to

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Feb 15 2017

Visit Philadelphia Announces Three New Staff Appointments

New Hires & A Promotion Focus On Strategic Alliances, Hotel Relations & Visitor Appeal

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® welcomed two new staffers and promoted another within the organization this month, adding Kara Callahan as vice president of advertising and strategic alliances, Laura Burkhardt as vice president of visitor appeal, and elevating Jim Werner to vice president of hotel relations and tourism development.

“We’re happy to welcome Kara and Laura and to promote Jim, a long-time member of our team,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “We’re coming off a banner year for hospitality in 2016, and the new leadership positions will strengthen our talented team by helping us to fulfill our mission,

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Jan 19 2017

Kimpton Hotel Manager Joins VISIT PHILADELPHIA Team

James Adamson Is The Most Recent Addition To The Company's Board Of Directors

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced today that it has welcomed James Adamson, general manager of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, to its board.

“We are happy that James has joined our board,” said Manuel Stamatakis, VISIT PHILADELPHIA board chairman. “He has many years of hotel management experience, and we look forward to tapping into his knowledge base as we develop marketing plans and strategies for VISIT PHILADELPHIA moving forward.”

For 14 years now, Adamson has worked for Kimpton properties, beginning in 2003 when he served as a guest service agent at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City. He quickly

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Jan 17 2017

VISIT PHILADELPHIA Reports A Record For 2016 Leisure Tourism & Announces Plans For 2017

Philadelphia's Tourism Marketing Group's Success In 2016 And Stories For 2017

At today’s VISIT PHILADELPHIA® New Year’s Breakfast, the destination marketing organization released record 2016 hotel numbers for Center City Philadelphia and announced upcoming marketing initiatives, including a new virtual-reality and 360-degree video and photo experience on visitphilly.com; new With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® ads for winter; year two for Philadelphia’s Historic District campaign; and a perks-packed, limited-time-only Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package.

2016: A Record Year:
In 2016, Center City Philadelphia hotels are projected to have hit:

  • Record occupancy – 78%
    –3.2 million hotel room nights
  • Record leisure room nights – 1 million for the first time
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