New Orleans Pulls Tone Deaf, Anti-British Tourism Ad
In a repeat of what happened with the Big Ash tourism debacle, the story about the Gulf oil spill is slowly moving from the objective environmental problem to the political nonsense surrounding it. Some states are trying to overplay the disaster to get more compensation from BP. Other states are working to underplay the spill because they don't want to scare away tourists. And now we've got the New Orleans tourism board taking BP's money and using it to print snide anti-British tourism ads. Classy!
The print ad in question, which was obviously and immediately pulled once sensible people saw it, played on the devastating defeat that Andrew Jackson handed to an invading British army during the 1814-1815 Battle of New Orleans. The ad's background has a tilted statue of Jackson and then in the foreground, written up in some kind of weird Alice in Wonderland-esque font, the text: "This isn't the first time New Orleans has survived the British."
Apparently £3.3m of the £10.1m that BP gave to Louisiana was used for this "mock the British" strategy. Why New Orleans even got a share of the tourism money, which was supposed to go into promoting and rehabilitating coastal areas and not cities 100 miles inland, is kind of beyond us. But that choice isn't even at the top of the list of things we find inexplicable about this campaign.
What we really can't get past is how someone sat down, thought for a while, and said "you know what we should do that'll be really clever? Make an in-joke about a 200-year-old battle that 95% of Americans don't know about!" It's like a particularly touristy Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader question, and that always works out for the adults. Some ad company really earned their paycheck with this one. Try again, New Orleans.
· New Orleans drops 'anti-British' tourism ad in wake of BP oil spill [Telegraph]
· Travel Advertising [Jaunted]
· New Orleans Travel [Jaunted]