In Virginia, members of the Alexandria City Council are considering a new marketing campaign to attract visitors to Old Town. Not everyone is charmed by the effort.
Charming. That's how visitors to Old Town consistently describe the city, according to the Alexandria Visitors and Convention Association. That's why they're crafting magazine ads that call Old Town "Charm-ville," a place that's "closer and more affordable" than you think. Alexandria City Council members are considering a $100,000 appropriation to extend the campaign in high-end magazines such as Food & Wine and Real Simple.
"I think it's trite. It's corny. It's not befitting of an area that reeks of history. I think it's a little silly, actually," says Old Town resident Christine Bernstein.
The Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association disagrees. Association president Stephanie Brown says the campaign was carefully crafted to reflect what visitors and residents like the most about Old Town.
"Charming is an important element for motivating travel to the city," says This is based on research done with 1,400 visitors to Alexandria and 400 residents."
City Council members will have the final say on whether or not to approve the $100,000 extension of the city's magazine advertising campaign.