Alabama Tourism launches new advertising campaign

MONTGOMERY, AL - The Alabama Tourism Department launched a new advertising campaign today that will begin airing in 10 media markets important to Gulf Coast tourism.

The 30 second commercial features celebrity chef Lucy Buffett and is aimed at attracting visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for the July 4th weekend. The ad is also targeted towards getting repeat visitors back to the area during the summer season as Buffett encourages visitors with the line, "So come on, get back to the beaches we all love."

The ad's message encourages visitors to go to and  to get the facts and the latest on beach conditions.

"Releasing the commercial now is important because the 4th of July weekend is critical to the Gulf Coast beaches," said state tourism director Lee Sentell. "The holiday has always been the season's biggest weekend for business," Sentell said.

In support of the commercial's message, Governor Bob Riley is also encouraging tourists to visit the beaches and announced that he is spending Father's Day weekend on Alabama's coast with his family.

Alabama Tourism also produced TV spots with American Idol Taylor Hicks. Those spots are in production and expected to be completed in July. Both Buffett and Hick's spots are part of a new advertising campaign designed to encourage families to support and visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The campaign is the 2nd in a series of campaigns by the Alabama Tourism Department since the Gulf Coast oil spill.

"Lucy is so passionate about the Gulf Coast, it's her home. She called to ask how she could help. At that point we knew that we wanted her to play a role in the tourism campaign," said state tourism director Lee Sentell. "Taylor Hicks did the same. He called and said he wanted to help. What better people to promote Alabama than two hometown celebrities who are passionate about the state," Sentell added.

The Alabama Tourism Department worked with Birmingham Ad Agency Luckie & Company to shoot and produce the commercial. It is scheduled to air in Mobile, Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Nashville, Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Jackson, Mississippi.

To view the spot with Lucy Buffett visit the Alabama Tourism Channel on YouTube by logging on to and click on the YouTube icon on the homepage.