The Florida Keys experience epic comeback after the COVID shutdown.

by Dorn Martell

On the morning of March 24, 2020 a roadblock went up on the only road leading into The Florida Keys. The lifeblood of The Keys, the tourism industry, was completely shut down. The roadblocks were up for over two months and places like world-famous Duval Street were completely void of travelers. It was predicted that it would take years to get back to the occupancy and room rates of the pre COVID world. But Tinsley had a plan to keep The Florida Keys & Key West top-of-mind during the lock-down in anticipation of meeting pent-up demand after travel restrictions were lifted.

It is now one year later, so how are The Keys doing?

According to The Miami Herald, “A year after the Keys did what no other place in Florida could do — put up barriers to keep people out — the lifeblood of tourism has returned. The crowds are back. Tax revenues are up.” “In October 2019, for instance, the county collected about $1.8 million in tourist development taxes. In October 2020, that rose to nearly $2.6 million, by July it shot up to 3.2 million” according to data provided by the tax collector’s office.

“We’re busier now than in 2019,” said Richard Strickland, Director Key West Airport.

Smith Travel Research reported that the Florida Keys led the nation in occupancy at 95% and led the rest of Florida in both room rate and RevPar.

Our strategy of “Keeping our distance. Remaining connected.” really worked. We created digital post cards so the tourism industry could reach out to past guests. We ran “PSA” messaging during the lockdown to encourage wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing instead of going silent. We wanted people to know that The Keys have safety protocols in place and that The Keys have plenty of open spaces and room to spread out. And as The Keys reopened in June, we announced the re-opening in all media while continuing to encourage responsible behavior, in-county, on pole banners, digital billboards and signage at the airport.

It’s been a tough year and our hearts go out to those who have suffered, but the future looks bright and we are honored to be an integral part of the recovery of The Florida Keys & Key West.

THE BEST TOURISM MARKETING IN THE STATE – AGAIN

by John Underwood

Once again, Tinsley Advertising dominated the Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Held in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, November 19, 2020, the Agency walked away with five (5) Flagler Awards for our creative work produced in 2019 (pre-Covid advertising efforts) for The Florida Keys & Key West. The multiple awards won were more than any other DMO or tourism-related business received in the state.

The Flagler awards included three (3) Henrys (the top honor) for our thirty-second “Twisted” television spot promoting direct flights to the destination, a print campaign promoting the variety of fishing in the Florida Keys & Key West and for our out-of-home taxi promotion in the UK. The agency also took home two (2) more Flagler awards in the Local Marketing and Direct Marketing categories.

The annual Flagler Awards are named after developer and railroad pioneer Henry Flagler and were established by Visit Florida in 2000 to recognize excellence in the Florida tourism marketing industry. To date, no agency has won more awards for a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) than Tinsley.

We continue to be thankful for our long-standing partnership with the Monroe County Tourist Development Council that has allowed us to create award-winning work that has been extremely successful for this remarkable travel destination.

Holy Cross – Keeping the Faith in the Time of Corona

By Dorn Martell

During this unprecedented time, in the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is extremely difficult to find the right information and someone to trust. Holy Cross Hospital has risen to the challenge and has become a beacon of hope in our community.

Holy Cross Hospital was founded in 1955, by The Sisters of Mercy, as a non-profit hospital. Their mission was and is to be a healing ministry that improves the health of the whole community. The cornerstone of this mission is faith. Science confirms the fact that faith speeds healing time and helps create better outcomes. And never has our faith been put to the test like in this latest crisis.

As part of our on-going campaign promoting faith and safety, “Faith is a Powerful Ally” was featured in print, outdoor and digital to reach Holy Cross’ Greater Ft. Lauderdale market and the ad below was created specifically to honor Holy Cross’ nurses and staff during these challenging times.

Holy Cross isn’t resting on their laurels; they are on the cutting edge of treatments for COVID-19. Recently, the hospital employed ECMO Therapy (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) to save a man’s life who was suffering from the effects of the virus. He could not breathe and was placed in an induced coma and on a ventilator.

“There is no doubt Alberto would have died within the hour,” said Dr. Irving David from Holy Cross Hospital.

ECMO is a machine that has an oxygenator for the lungs and a pump to cycle a patient’s blood.

In layman’s terms, cardiothoracic surgeons at the hospital say it can be considered a lung and heart machine.

Alberto is on the mend now because the machine kept him alive long enough to receive antibody serum or the blood from a different patient who has recovered from the virus.

The treatment is rarely used, as only 21 lives in the entire world have been saved by it. Alberto is the first such patient in South Florida. At Holy Cross science and faith go hand-in-hand and we could not be more proud to be part of the team.

To see the whole story: https://www.local10.com/news/local/2020/04/30/holy-cross-hospital-uses-new-technology-to-save-live-of-man-with-covid-19/

To donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund or the Sr. Catherine McAuley Fund go to: https://www.holycrossdonations.com/

 

HERE’S TO THE GAME CHANGERS.

Winners change the game.

Don Shula knew a little something about winning, racking up a record 347 wins in his 33-year career…17 of them back-to-back in The Perfect Season of 1972.

Along the way, he earned a reputation for discipline, integrity and character that remains the gold standard in professional sports 25 years after his retirement. 

All that winning makes the loss of this Miami Dolphins legend that much greater.

In many ways, it’s a symbolic bookend to a year where we also lost our Founder, Sandy Tinsley.

Sandy and Shula made history together, reinventing the rules of advertising with a handshake deal that launched the Tinsley Sports Network, and led to the longest running coach’s show in television history. 

While Coach Shula presided over the least penalized teams in NFL history, Sandy conquered a male-dominated field by making her own rules. Granite jaw versus iron will. She launched Tinsley Advertising with a single client in 1974, and chalked up a string of victories of her own over the years. When she learned that The Don Shula Show had lost its sponsorship, she instantly recognized the value of Don Shula’s reputation and loyal audience, and took a leap of faith to buy the airtime, produce the show and sell the advertising. 

Today, anyone can own a YouTube channel, blog or podcast. You can shoot a feature-length film on your phone. And edit the entire thing on an iPad. But back then, content generation was a revolutionary idea…with enormous risks. Turns out, everyone wanted to be associated with Shula, and the show was sold out right up to the end, when Coach Shula retired in 1995.

The lesson to be learned from Don Shula and Sandy Tinsley is that you always have to keep the ball moving forward. They both assembled winning teams. Instilled an unbreakable work ethic. And left behind a playbook for how to win at life. 

Rest in peace.

Keeping our distance. Remaining connected.

By Dorn Martell

Everyday at Tinsley we work hard to bring people together. We want people to get out and try new things. To travel. To indulge. To find somebody to love. So, when the world went into lockdown over COVID-19 our world was turned upside down. “Hey everybody! Stay home!” is not something we are used to saying. But, as we all hunkered down and began to function as a virtual agency we had some thoughts. Let’s give people a break from all the horrible news and give them some distraction with some beautiful imagery from The Florida Keys. It also gave us time to reflect on what it means to be One Human Family and how we are all connected. Please stay safe. Stay home for now. Soon, everyone will be welcomed back to a place that has always been a welcome change from the mainstream. See you soon.