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Tourism Board Sells Richmond’s Hipsters With New Ad Campaign

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A new ad campaign from Richmond Region Tourism is making the pitch that mixing Civil War history and hipster culture makes for a great vacation.

The "find your mix" campaign launched last week with a full-page ad in the mid-Atlantic edition of USA Today declaring "History + Hipsters" and juxtaposing Civil War imagery with a tall bike mug and the Strawberry Girl mural.

"The purpose of the campaign is to allow Richmond to present a lot of different aspects of who we are," says Jo Watson, partner at creative design company JHI. "Richmond is this wonderful mix of old and new. We needed a campaign that would be really adaptable, and would allow us to be playful, serious [and] reach out to different audiences."

The ad surprised one Richmonder staying at the W hotel in Washington enough to send it in to Style Weekly. Reaction on social media has ranged from head scratching to mild disapproval.

Watson points out the headline is one of many "mixes" that will be used. Other ads feature headlines ranging from "Tutus + Tattoos" to "Live History + Cool Cats."

"If it was the only ad we were ever going to run, I'd understand people having grave concerns," Watson adds. "We can sort of pick and choose and find the right feel for the audience without getting pinned into some standardized presentation of who we are. That's the joy of this campaign."

Richmond Region Tourism Vice President Jennifer Carnam says ads will run in Southern Living and Garden & Gun magazines. She says the target demographic will be women between 35-54 "who are the primary planners for family trips and couple getaways."

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