By Rachel Sacco, President & CEO, Experience Scottsdale
Over the past few years, Experience Scottsdale has invited potential visitors around the globe to “come see what blooms in the desert.” We splashed this invitation on train stations and cars, billboards and buildings in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver and more.
But this month, we’re bringing eye-catching desert blooms to the visitors as we paint New York City and Toronto orange, green, pink and purple.
Experience Scottsdale placed advertising assets in New York City’s Penn Station and Penn Plaza and Toronto’s PATH, a series of underground pedestrian walkways. And set beside those advertisements are large-scale murals hand-painted by local artist Lauren Lee.
Lee, known for her paintings of larger-than-life desert botanicals on buildings throughout the metro Phoenix area, spent weeks in her studio painting the petals of orange blossoms and the needles of towering cacti on canvas. She put her artistic spin on real florals found in the Sonoran Desert after drawing inspiration from Scottsdale’s trails and Desert Botanical Garden.
Once the works were complete, Experience Scottsdale digitally enlarged her paintings and printed them on vinyl to send to New York City and Toronto. Commuters passing through Penn Station, Penn Plaza and PATH will see the finer details of Lee’s work, from her brush strokes to her signature.
Experience Scottsdale’s mission is to promote the Scottsdale area as a world-class vacation and meetings destination. But this campaign is more than just advertising. By incorporating artwork into our out-of-home campaign, Experience Scottsdale is sharing a piece of Scottsdale’s arts scene with potential visitors. We’re gifting a month-long art installation to the people of New York City and Toronto – two of Scottsdale’s top visitor markets – with the hope that these same people will visit Scottsdale to further explore the destination’s myriad arts and culture offerings among our many diverse amenities.
This initiative comes after another partnership with Lee. Last summer, Experience Scottsdale commissioned Lee to paint three murals in Old Town, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Quarter. The murals, which captured the spirit of our “It’s That Hot” summer campaign, were photographed and shared across social media by more than 230 people. One of the most popular resulting Instagram posts was seen by 365,000 followers.
After the success of the local activation, Experience Scottsdale brainstormed ways to incorporate such fine art into our annual out-of-home campaign. Potential visitors can see that Scottsdale is a stunning desert community that’s home to innovative artists and artwork, much like Lee’s.
Come February, this initiative will have generated an estimated 40 million advertising impressions, meaning millions will see Experience Scottsdale’s advertisements and Lee’s murals during their daily commutes. But that number doesn’t account for the people who will pause to admire the artwork and snap some photographs for posterity. Many of those lingering passersby will share their photos on Instagram or Facebook, extending the reach of our message even further.
And perhaps even those who see such social media posts will decide as well to come see what blooms in the desert.
Rachel Sacco is the president and CEO of Experience Scottsdale, which is responsible for promoting the Scottsdale area as a premier travel and meetings destination to national and international leisure visitors, travel agents, tour operators, meeting planners and media.