"Defrost Your Swimsuit" Wins Best Of Show At Gov's Tourism Conf.

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GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  - The spotlight shined brightly on the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, with the organization receiving an unprecedented number of Flagler Awards, with seven gold Flaglers including Best of Show, one silver and two bronze awards presented during the 45th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, September 5-7, 2012 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® in Orlando.

Taking center stage at the Flagler Awards was the destination’s ‘Defrost Your Swimsuit’ winter campaign, receiving four awards.  Defrost was an innovative showcase of national and international advertising, public relations, digital, special event and guerrilla marketing.

Colorfully brought to life with high-profile events, Defrost vividly showcased Greater Fort Lauderdale’s warm weather beach appeal to audiences in Toronto, New York and London. Outdoor activities consisted of attention-grabbing blocks of ice that featured frozen bikinis and swim trunks placed in popular pedestrian areas including New York’s Times Square, Toronto’s Dundas Square and London’s Canary Wharf enticing weather weary citizens to thaw out on the destination’s famed beaches.  A festive atmosphere was created in the locations with the appearance of a branded Beachmobile, palm trees, billboard displays and swimsuit-clad models.

Strong results included significantly increased website visits and major broadcast, online and traditional media exposure.  Media hailed the promotion a big success - New York Daily News referred to it as “Marketing Genuis,” Toronto’s Star.com said “Forget Santa, check out Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday at Dundas Square instead,” and ABC’s Good Morning America featured  Sam Champion’s weather report from inside the Beachmobile during the New York-leg.

2012 Flagler Awards for Greater Fort Lauderdale included:

Best of Show 

  • Defrost Your Swimsuit


  • Special Event – Defrost Your Swimsuit
  • Mixed Media Campaign – Defrost Your Swimsuit
  • Out-of-Home – Defrost Your Swimsuit
  • Mobile Marketing -Sunny.org mobile Site
  • Resource/Promotional Material for Consumers -Cruise and Play Video
  • Resource/Promotional Material for Trade -SUNconventional Meetings Guide


  • Tourism Advocacy -Who Knew Stimulating the Economy Could Be So Much Fun.


  • Direct Marketing – Lauderdale Spa Chic
  • Internet Advertising – Greater Fort Lauderdale Super Summer Online

“SUNsational!” exclaimed Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This has been an amazing year for us!  We are very happy our marketing endeavors were so well received.  Not only does this recognition bring us big smiles, but also helps to increase our tourism, energize our economy and create more jobs. I couldn’t be more proud of our talented and dedicated team who work so hard to spread the word that Greater Fort Lauderdale is one special place!”

The awards, nicknamed “Henrys,” salute Henry Flagler, the late 19th- and early 20th-century railroad and hotel magnate whom many people consider the grandfather of Florida’s tourism industry.   Presented by VISIT FLORIDA®, the state’s tourism marketing corporation, the Flagler Awards program is designed to recognize the outstanding tourism marketing efforts of Florida’s travel businesses, destinations and attractions.

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Source: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau,