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Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB How to infuse a new level of sophistication into an already iconic brand

Nearly five years after launching Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Hello Sunny brand, Starmark was tasked with creating a strategy and campaign that would evolve with the brand’s growth and future vision.

After conducting a nationwide brand study, we confirmed that the Hello Sunny campaign had gained equity in terms of defining and differentiating Greater Fort Lauderdale. It was also influencing consumers to consider visitation.

Over the years, Greater Fort Lauderdale has grown into a more sophisticated landscape with much richer offerings in terms of experiences, luxury resorts and off-the-beaten-path adventures. The yachting capital of the world was experiencing a renaissance. The new campaign had to reflect this, yet still retain the happy-go-lucky vibe that was the core of its brand personality.

The ads had to work in a global environment and meet the needs of virtually any medium – digital, broadcast, traditional and any additional platforms that come our way in the next few years. They had to convey the diversity and inclusiveness of Greater Fort Lauderdale. It had to tell the story of the entire county and showcase the unique and rich experiences from east to west. From the Seagrass to the Sawgrass.

The communication strategy was to identify all that defines a “hello sunny” visit to Greater Fort Lauderdale. We took the word “hello” and turned it into a tool to tell that story. The campaign was executed over six days. Scenes were filmed and photographed throughout the county covering a full-spectrum of destination lifestyle experiences.

The new campaign features over 50 lead talent of all ages, ethnicities and sexualities. In fact, the campaign features 3 transgender models — a first for any destination; and “Ad Week” called it a first in the travel category. “Using Trans models in our mainstream campaign says who we are as a destination: cosmopolitan, edgy, diverse, inclusive, authentic and accepting,” said Richard Gray, Managing Director LGBTQ Market, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are the only destination in the world that is using Trans people in mainstream marketing initiatives. That is a huge statement in itself highlighting this destination’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality. We want all travelers to GFL to be free to be themselves, to be free to be accepted, and most of all to be safe and respected.” Watch the behind-the-scenes premier.

Starmark also handles the media planning, buying and analytics that will maximize the campaign’s impact. In fact, the media team assisted in the development of the campaign in terms of suggesting mediums, specifications and groundbreaking ways to showcase Greater Fort Lauderdale to a very diverse audience. Phase one of the campaign launches in early winter, with the message geared toward couples and friends, while Phase two will launch in spring/early summer with more of a focus on families.

The new campaign also coincides with the launch of a new platform, Hello Sunny TV. It’s a network that provides 24/7 information on all things Greater Fort Lauderdale, via live, programmed and on-demand videos. Hello Sunny TV is a strategic initiative that gives consumers the opportunity to self-select content tailored to their interests. For more information and to view all of the new campaign videos on the network, visit