VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A new advertising campaign meant to get tourists to “go beachless” when they visit Virginia Beach is not sitting well with some people who call the city home.
The campaign launched this week on the website VisitVirginiaBeach.com. It involves two videos that appear to represent opposing sides. One sends the "go beachless" message. The other encourages people to "go beach."
In reality, the videos are meant to work together to get visitors to experience all Virginia Beach has to offer, not just the sand and ocean.
The homepage of the website greets people with the message: “IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO GO BEACHLESS. A list of “beachless” activities follows including dining and visiting parks, museums and breweries.
People who are on the site can click “Opposition” to get the "go beach" side of things. Top beach activities such as surfing, fishing, and visiting the boardwalk are listed.
Some of the people who live in the city and aren't happy with the “beachless” message share their thoughts on social media.
“Dumbest ad for a resort beach town ever,” one Facebook user wrote.
Tourism officials said the point is to create a fun debate that will get word out about all the resort city has to offer.
"We wanted there to be a light debate about what are you? A traditionalist or go rogue and go inland?" said Teresa Diaz with Virginia Beach Community Outreach. "It's just meant as a tongue in cheek fun conversation about all the things that there are to come here."
Diaz said the ads are posted at train stations, airports and on billboards in cities like Charlotte and New York. The campaign will run through the Spring and Summer.