Philadelphia will have a branded presence, contests and guides on the platform, which allows users to recommend favorite dishes and drinks by taking photos of the items and sharing them with the community via the Foodspotting site or smartphone apps.
The guides are location-based lists of recommended dishes and drinks that are mapped and accessible via mobile. GPTMC will have 12 official guides on foodspotting.com/visitphilly, and once Foodspotting members "spot" an item from the guides they get a "Visit Philly" badge that goes to their Foodspotting profile.
The branded guides cover everything from "Famous Philly Flavors" to breweries, vegetarian cuisine and Latin eateries in the region. The city's tourism organization will roll out eight more guides on Foodspotting during the summer.
GPTMC will award one grand prize and 10 first prizes to Foodspotters who participate in Visit Philly's "With Love Foodspotting Contest" this month. One person who follows "Visit Philly" on Foodspotting and completes Visit Philly's "Famous Philly Flavors" guide between May 11 and May 25 will win an overnight stay at a luxury Philadelphia hotel, a City Food Tours' Flavors of Philly excursion for two and a $100 Garces Restaurant Group gift card.
Caroline Bean, a GPTMC spokesperson and social media director, said the organization followed what nearby Bucks County had been doing in the social space. "They actually started with Foodspotting last year and were talking about it to us," she says. Bean says the city's presence on the food platform carries the same branding as the larger "Love" campaign that launched last year, and which the organization has run in places like New York's Penn Station, featuring pithy text with "XOXOXO" script in a red hue.
Bean says GPTMC will promote the food program through media outreach, bloggers and "Our own social media outlets, such as our own blog and our four Twitter and Facebook pages," she says. "Foodspotting is appropriate for us, since we know visitors and residents are savvy with phones, they know what they are doing on social media."
"Visit Philly is one of our destination partners that really gets Foodspotting. We have a dedicated community of users in the Philly area," said Fiona Tang, head of outreach at Foodspotting, in a release.
Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), which is now 15 years old, reports in new visitor data that the Philadelphia region saw 37.4 million domestic visitors last year -- of whom 33.1 million were tourists. The numbers reflect 10 million more leisure visitors than in 1997, when GPTMC first began marketing. The organization says that every $1 spent on advertising for the "With Love" generates $100 in direct visitor spending.
In addition to the Foodspotting effort GPTMC is ramping up advertising to bring tourists to the city this summer, with ads and links to VisitPhilly.com on mobile Web sites, including philly.com and philadelphiacitysearch.com, and on mobile applications, including The Weather Channel, Go2, Where, ActiveDiner, iMaps and iLocate.
The organization is also launching a new TV spot the week of June 6 that will run in the Philadelphia, northern New Jersey and the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York (HLLY) DMAs both online and on TV stations, including Nickelodeon, HGTV, TLC, Comedy Central and TBS.
Also, GPTMC and Victory Brewing Company are re-releasing the With Love-inspired Summer Love Ale this summer in 29 states. The effort is part of a "Summer With Love" campaign running May 16 through Sept. 4.
by Karl Greenberg