Atlantic City Changes Promotion Strategy

Initially, Atlantic City had to rebrand itself through its “Do AC” marketing push. For 2014, however, the Atlantic Alliance—the city’s marketing arm—and President Liza Cartmell (l.) wants to tell people exactly what there is to do in the resort including an emphasis on the city’s growing nightlife options.

They’ve told you to “Do AC” and now they want to help you figure out exactly what to do in Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City Alliance—Atlantic City’s casino-funded marketing arm—unveiled its new promotion plan for 2014 and it’s heavy on promoting the city’s nightlife as well as indoor activities in the winter months under  the heading “A Taste of Summer.”

“We had such a brand issue—and it still is an issue to some extent—that we spent most of our money there early on,” Liza Cartmell, CEO of the alliance said. “Now, what we need to do is to pull people in with specific things they can do.”

The alliance has a $30 million annual budget to promote the resort.

Cartmell said the alliance’s $15 million advertising budget will see significant changes. In 2013, 86 percent of the budget was spent on brand messaging to help change the public’s perception of Atlantic City. That number will drop to 30 percent this year.

Advertising for specific events only came in at 8 percent of the budget in 2013 but will take up 56 percent of the budget this year, Cartmell said.

The Alliance also released polling data that showed the rebranding efforts have had some success. In the fall of 2013, 28 percent of those polled described Atlantic City as a safe place to visit, compared with 20 percent in spring 2012. Also, 25 percent described the resort as a clean place to visit, compared with 16 percent in spring 2012.

Cartmell acknowledged that the numbers are still low, but are improving.

The Alliance also announced it will be holding a series of bus patties over the next month to bring Philadelphia club goers to Atlantic City and ask them to describe their experiences on social media.