Official Home of Winter Stunt in Punxsutawney, PA
In Syracuse and Central New York, winter is the off-season for tourism. But instead of downplaying the snowy reality, tourism leaders embraced it in a new winter campaign. Visit Syracuse engaged Break The Ice Media (BTI) to develop and execute a PR campaign promoting Syracuse as the “Official Home of Winter.” The campaign irreverently redefines the tourism calendar as “winter” and “not winter” while humorously positioning CNY as a fun-loving destination in all seasons.
BTI identified timely, weather-related PR opportunities to support the messaging, the largest being the annual Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, PA.
February 2, 2017
BTI & Visit Syracuse hacked America’s #1 annual weather story— Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Day—with a PR stunt built on a creative news hook. The team generated attention by bucking common sentiment for an early spring and protesting for six more weeks of winter.
Wearing Syracuse garb, a 10-person team visited Gobbler’s Knob with witty signs like “May the Frost be with You,” "To See or Not to See - That is the Question," and “Show Me the Shadow.” The main protestor was Winter himself, who led cheers of Six More Weeks, engaged the crowd in social media selfies, and was trailed by an imbedded video crew hired to draw attention while capturing B-roll.
Team members live-streamed and tweeted through Syracuse’s social handles. TV news crews saw the commotion and flocked to interview Winter. The stunt generated 15 direct media placements – many with national outlets – numerous social mentions and combined total impressions of 89,346,000!
Weather Channel interview with Jim Cantore
Weather Channel Live Coverage: 6 More Weeks Chant