Our work for Downtown Pensacola includes a daily mix of marketing and PR designed to bring visitors downtown, as well as the execution and marketing of world-class special events, such as Palafox Market and the Pensacola Umbrella Sky Project. The original Umbrella Sky Project was born in Águeda, Portugal in 2012, when hundreds of umbrellas were suspended over a handful of the city’s narrow streets from July to September. The colorful pop-up project gained an immediate cult following around the world, but when we wrote two grant applications in 2016, the Umbrella Sky had not been seen in the U.S. Our client set out to change that. The Pensacola Umbrella Sky Project drew hundreds of thousands of people to downtown Pensacola, Fla., during its 90-day run. Since then, we’ve executed other award-winning events and promotions for downtown Pensacola, including Pensacola Bubble Alley in 2022. Scroll down to read more.
In 2017, Friends of Downtown, along with the Downtown Improvement Board, University of West Florida Historic Trust and UWF Archaeology Institute hosted 200 guests for the inaugural Repast farm-to-table dinner. The event celebrated more than 450 years of Pensacola’s history and highlighted some of its most iconic chefs in a storybook setting along historic Palafox Street in downtown Pensacola.
Tickets to the event, first announced on a Facebook post, sold out within hours to local guests as well as visitors from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Ideawörks wrote a grant for seed funding and then helped to brand and coordinate the event. It was followed by two, equally successful, Repast events which also received grant funding from applications written by Ideawörks.
COVID-19 hit with a vengeance in early 2020, and within short order there were any number of posters and flyers providing relevant information on how to be safe. With so much information, many times there was too much going on to catch the eye of the public and hold their attention.
We wanted to create a safety campaign that couldn’t be missed. Our iconic, retro Pensacola Pelican sidewalk decals popped up precisely when and where downtown
visitors were walking, with simple, memorable safety messages and quickly become social media stars.
By request, the catchy decal designs were also turned into posters, flyers and social media graphics used by downtown merchants and others to further spread the important safety messages.
Ideawörks mounted a public relations campaign that used guerilla marketing tactics to turn a $3,500 budget into more than $115,000 of earned media coverage—an ROI of more than 3,000 percent. They understand the heritage tourism market, have an equally firm grasp on traditional and digital media and will always go the extra mile to get the job done.
—Ron Butlin, (former) Executive Director, Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board
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