Here’s a thought experiment. Name the city you think does NOT need a tourism ambassador. Basically, someone to promote the fact you should visit. There’s a damn good chance New York City would quickly spring to mind.
But, the NYC & Company has hired Taylor Swift to do promotional videos for the city. To promote tourism. Damn, I thought that was Anderson Cooper’s job every New Year’s Eve. Sorry, Anderson.
Ok, so Taylor Swift isn’t from New York. She was born in PA, and most associate her for her time in Nashville. She just recently bought property in New York and Beverly Hills, splitting time between those two and Nashville.
The promotional videos unveiled today include her defining ‘stoop’ and ‘bodega’. Yes, cause every tourist needs to know what those two words mean to NYC. More likely they are marveling at the fact Bubba Gump Shrimp is in Times Square.
Some are hating on the move, claiming that she doesn’t represent New York. Taylor? She’s shaking off the criticism in a statement. “New York kind of pulled me here like a magnet,” she says. “I was intimidated by the fact that it was bright and bold and loud. And now I know that I should run towards things like that.”
Some point to Alicia Keys and Jay-Z as true ambassadors. The NYC & Company will point that they want to appeal to people not from here. In the press release, the company refers to the city as welcoming, using it as a readymade retort against the criticism.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with the choice. It just blows my mind NYC has an official department for this. I mean, you have to sell your city to tourists? You get 55 million a year. Now, I’d understand if Gadsden, AL needed a department. But, I guess even the city that never sleeps needs a little branding.