Tennessee tourism launches same-day campaign to showcase Smoky Mountains

Tennessee tourism launches same-day digital campaign to showcase Smoky Mountains / Courtesy of VML/Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

In a play to increase tourism, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development decided to create a campaign that shows the beauty of the state, all filmed and edited on that day.

The campaign, titled 'It’s a Great Day in the Smokies', features Atlanta-based celebrity journalist and blogger Anna Liesemeyer, her husband Gabe and their five small children.

“People are so knowledgeable about film-making and marketing we knew it would be easy to write off any footage of the area as being shot before the wildfires, even if it wasn't. To get people to believe that the attractions are all still open and the the beauty of the Smokies is still very much intact, we had to prove it. So, we thought, if we could literally shoot, edit and air the commercial in the same day, we could demonstrate how virtually untouched the area still is, and show everyone that ‘Today is a great day to be in the Smokies',” said Allison Pierce, group creative director, VML.

The family has embarked on a four-day adventure through Sevier County destinations and attractions including Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains are a fantastic destination for a family vacation and we want folks in Atlanta and around the country to know that the hospitality of our ‘mountain tough’ Sevier Countians is unmatched anywhere in the world,” said Kevin Triplett, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, in a statement. “This innovative approach to present vacation footage in nearly real-time, it is clear that every day is a great day in the Smokies, and there’s never been a better time to enjoy all the Tennessee Smoky Mountains have to offer.”

This campaign comes in response to wildfires that destroyed more than 500 acres on the area, destroying homes and forcing thousands of residents to flee in fall 2016. The hope is that through this promotion, the area will attract travelers from Atlanta which, according to the Department of Tourist Development, is East Tennessee’s largest source of tourists.

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Haley Velasco

Haley Velasco is a writer based in Chicago, IL, who has a background in PR for a sports media company and has reported on a variety of topics, including sports, opinion, politics and celebrity news. Based in the Windy City, she covers industry happenings in the Midwest and throughout North America. She has been reporting for The Drum since May 2016.

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