Giant sunglasses sculpture could become selfie spot for tourists

A giant sculpture of a pair of aqua-colored sunglasses could become Palm Beach County’s newest selfie spot as part of a national advertising plan designed to market the area as a tourist destination.

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County hopes to build at least one of the sculptures as part of its new tourism marketing campaign. Under the plan, the glasses would be positioned in tourism hot spots throughout the county, such as Palm Beach International Airport or local art fairs.

The council started using aqua-colored sunglasses two years ago as part of its push to persuade out-of-town cultural enthusiasts to travel here. The “Behind the Sunglasses” campaign, which urged arts lovers to see the county “through a different lens,” featured a host of celebrities speaking about the county’s arts and cultural offerings while wearing the sunglasses. Among those who donned the shades: actor Tony Danza, musician Kenny G, musical icon and DIY television star Vanilla Ice and comedian Judy Gold.

RELATED: Vanilla Ice, other celebs don aqua shades to tout Palm Beach County arts scene

Jennifer Sullivan, the council’s director of marketing, said the nonprofit plans to expand the campaign this year to showcase some of the county’s most iconic spots.

“The idea is to evolve,” Sullivan said. “It is not really about the face, it is about what is in the glasses. It is more a showcase of what you are seeing.”

RELATED: County tourism leaders use selfies by real visitors in new ad campaign

For the sunglasses sculpture, which the council hopes to have completed next summer, the lenses could be swapped out for large television screens that display photos of the county’s tourism attractions and arts offerings, Sullivan said.

The campaign fits with another marketing effort launched early this year by Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization. The agency has been using social media posts from area residents and recent vacationers in its advertisements marketing the county as a vacation and meetings destination.

Travelers interested in visiting Palm Beach County spend close to two hours a day on social media, according to a study commissioned by Discover. Roughly one-third of those travelers pick a vacation destination based on what they have seen on social media, the study found.

In addition to the advertising efforts, the Cultural Council also hopes to grow its free concierge program, which is designed to help both individual tourists and large groups of visitors find local art exhibits, musical performances and other cultural outings.

“It is really white-glove service,” Sullivan said. “It is curated recommendations.”

The Cultural Council launched the program about two years ago. At the time, it was touted as the first of its kind in the industry.

As part of this year’s marketing effort, the council hopes to improve the program’s website and to create a 24-hour call line where visitors can get immediate service.

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