Ariz. Dept. of Tourism launches huge warm-weather ad blitz in Chicago

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- With much of the nation in the grips of a deep freeze, Arizona's mild temperatures are looking pretty good right about now!

So our state is jumping on the opportunity to make a big self-promotion pitch, targeting Chicago with an elaborate advertising blitz.

"Chicago is our number one cold weather city for Arizona in the winter," says Sherry Henry of the Arizona Department of Tourism.

If you have family of friends back in the frostbitten Windy City, they might have mentioned seeing a giant Arizona tourism billboard on a downtown building. The billboard features a woman relaxing in a bikini. The ad also shows a pair of giant flip-flops crushing a car.

The ads are designed to remind Windy City residents that they could “Warm up in AZ.”

"Even in the weather in Chicago right now, and we feel really badly about them, because we know how cold it is," says Henry. "We have ambassadors handing out little flip flops, reminding everybody, think flip flops, bring your flip flops and come to Arizona."

Our state typically does a national campaign starting every November that reminds the rest of the country about our gorgeous climate.

But as a target city, Chicago has been blasted by Arizona tourism ads. "You will see us in their newspapers, in their magazines, billboards" says Henry. "There is something called video up-line which is a car that drives around the city, which throws up images on the sides of buildings."

The Arizona Dept. of Tourism says if folks in Chicago answer the invitation to check out our state, they'll find more than just a break from the cold.

"Please come to Arizona. We promise you will fall in love with it and leave with amazing memories," she says.