Open Letter to Atlantic City: Is This New Ad Campaign Really the Right Way to Go?

Dear Atlantic City:

You know we love you. We come to you for gambling, for bachelor and bachelorette parties, for rides on your charming jitneys, for strolls on your boardwalk, for indulgence in the nostalgia for your bygone days, for air shows, for golf tournaments, for conventions and gymnastics competitions, for prize fights, for shopping at outlets, for rides that make children vomit.

We come for overnights either sincerely or ironically. We pull for you when you’re down and out, as you were during Sandy, and we feel appropriately conflicted as Pennsylvania overtakes you in gaming revenues. We brag to out-of-towners how close you are even as we concede that we would be hard pressed to buy property within your confines.

It may be a push-pull kind of love story we have with you, Atlantic City, but it is a love story. And when push comes to loving shove, we are on your side. Which is why we feel we must tell you the honest truth.

This new advertising campaign you’re launching? The sort of reinvention of the “Do AC” campaign that you spent $20 million on last year only to see casino revenues drop and hotel visits increase by only a pittance? Maybe you want to hold off on that given the, well, the timing.

We’re talking about those dead bodies that were just found in a room at Revel–a bankrupt hotel and casino that knows plenty about death, in particular death by ten thousand cuts. What a complete and total fiasco that place turned out to be–the star of “Do AC” that turned into a great, big DON’T. With Revel in the news, is it really time to hype a new tourism initiative?

It seems so. According to the New Jersey Star Ledger, you’re going to do it all over again–another $20 million “Do AC” ad campaign–but with more of a casino emphasis this time. The newspaper spoke with Liza Cartmell, the president of the Atlantic City Alliance:

“[Last time] we wanted to stop people in their tracks and say, ‘Wait, there’s no gambling in that ad.’ We don’t need to keep that kind of shock factor this year,” she said.

True. Very true. Because there are other shock factors. Like two dead guests at the flagship hotel.

Atlantic City, you’re in a pickle. You can’t depend solely on casino revenues anymore, so you have to expand the way people see you. But when you try that, casino revenues drop. It’s a tricky balance.

The truth is, beloved AC, we worry you’re just not ready for prime time as a resort destination that’s not focused on gaming. Let’s look at the big picture. Your murder rate went up in 2012. Most of your neighborhoods and landscape are unappealing to the average tourist (and many residents as well). The boardwalk has a number of seedy stores that compromise class, and a lot of the older hotels look their age. You are plagued by political corruption and lack of will.

So $20 million and some terrific new spots. Is it worth it–again? We don’t have the answer, our dear AC, but we have the feeling that the announcement of a perky ad campaign isn’t the right note to strike right now. And that $20 million could be better spent.

Atlantic City ready to ‘Do’ it again [Star Ledger]

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  • Kimbafuzz

    The All-22s on both offense and defense are depressing as hell. :(

  • morgan c

    NA is just not good at the sport of football. Tim McManus wants to keep shifting the blame and claims that NA is quality, but just has “a few bad plays.” Dude is bad. Straight up. Look at the evidence, look at the facts. He is slow and can’t make plays on the ball. Worst of all, he’s a BAD teammate, scapegoats others, and doesn’t really accept responsibility. Dude is a overpaid mercenary. Oh yeah, and if you want to claim “he gets a lot more flak because he’s paid 12 mil a year,” well, ya, DUH! OF COURSE THAT IS PART OF IT!

    Whatever, dude will be cut after the season, when Reid is fired. Vick, Babin, Jenkins, NA, DJax should all be cut. Let’s start over with guys who bring it every play, no matter what.

    • Kei

      Overreactadelphia fan at his best. He’s just bad and doesn’t bring it every play! If you had ever PLAYED football you’d be able to look at the EVIDENCE u claim and see 2 safeties who bite on every play action and leave both our corners hung out to dry. Do some real research b4 you make ignorant statements and then we all wouldn’t have to click dislike on ur ridiculous statement.

      • HogansHero

        I have to agree here. The Eagles have a safety problem. Coleman is awful. Allen is average, maybe.

        • absecon

          Safteys bite because of wide-9. Anyone’d be paranoid of running plays in that scheme…

          • brownshadow17

            Could’ve sworn that’s why we picked up Ryans and Kendricks. I don’t remember us complaining about safety run support last year as much as how bad our LBs.

          • Do you remember all our safeties getting benched at one point or another last season? They are both atrocious

      • morgan c

        I do look at the evidence. I have looked at all the All-22 defense posts this season. In 4 of them (4/7 games = over half / most), the evidence has shown very poor play by NA. Specifically, since you questioned my research, I’m pointing to the Baltimore game, the Arizona game, the Giants game (final drive), and the Atlanta game. In all 4 games, he was exposed for big plays, badly.

        Now, you tell me, if your 12 million a year CB makes egregious mistakes in over half his games, what would you say? Maybe I overreacted a bit, but this is just so frustrating. The dude makes a ton of money, and isn’t close to it in terms of production so it’s hard not to be frustrated. Again, if he didn’t make that money, it would be okay. But he can only be compared to what he is paid as, which is the HIGHEST in the league. He gets paid to be the best.

        I’d take top5 production, but he is an avg corner this year. DRC is outstanding (except for last game), thus our corners overall look solid. NA is playing at replacement level average. Point to examples other than the Lions game that show otherwise and I’ll be happy to hear it. And don’t get me started on his subversive blame of Castillo and the scheme ALL last year, and his comments this year that contributed to his firing (despite what Reid says).

  • Castillo’s defense was predictable. You know who else’s defense is predictable? Chicago. Talent is not there and that is the problem. I think the Wide 9 and Washburn’s $ack$ only mentatlity has hurt the unit. On the first play Roddy White was also open.

  • barry_nic

    Well, they don’t look like they know what they are doing out there, period. Nnamdi looked like a great signing when it happened, mainly because of the press he received by “never being targeted by opposing teams”. Well now we know how well is when he does get targeted, not very. So live and learn. I blame the abysmal coaching these guys are getting more than the obvious lack of talent. Say what you want about Juan, but he had this group as high as 11th in the league. But the “Originator” of the wide nine plain and simple can’t counter the protections that have cropped up against his scheme. So the DB’s and LB’s are left hanging. Jim Johnson was the real deal, because he’d adapt and change his schemes when something stopped working. The quote I remember most was “The offense didn’t know what was coming” and he had the personnel that could deliver on that. Also, most blitzes come off of successful stunts off the DL. You can’t stunt in the wide nine, the ends are too far out. It’s too easy for the blitzers to be picked up and two man blitzes leave the middle wide open for the offense.

    All scheme and coaching. Last year they moved the ends in because the LB’s were so bad, and that worked well. But this year they aren’t doing this and the front seven is toast. This team is a mess and the only stable guy on it(If you could say that) was let go.

    That’s my two cents,

    PS, DJAX is playing well, the QB is constantly late and the play calling is atrocious.

    • Tejas

      Great breakdown Tim. Quick question, what’s the status of DE Vinny Curry? He played well in the pre-season, has solid size, and is a skilled pass rusher. When can we expect him to take snaps from incumbents Tapp, Cole, Babin, and Graham? Curry is a second round pick, and with the line producing marginally (being kind), it’s time for Curry to suite up.

      • Tim McManus

        Would imagine you would see him soon, especially with Hunt’s role being reduced.

    • brownshadow17

      Obvious or not, there is no reason why our blitzes should not be effective. Even if the blitzers are picked up, it leaves our ends in one on one match ups. Before this season began I would’ve taken Babin or Cole against almost any O lineman one on one

  • eagles2zc

    Wide 9 is making the whole D look bad. A safety is forced to play the run first, leaving just one to play deep. No pressure from the front 4 in the wide 9 and the entire scheme breaks down

  • BlindChow

    How would Nnamdi do as a safety? Seems like that would fill a need, put him up against Tight Ends (which he did well last year), and allow him some room to make plays (his interceptions last year came when he was in zone schemes). He’d have to take a pay cut, though, I imagine…

    • xlGmanlx

      I like this idea, restructure his deal, move him to safety.

    • Wilbert M.

      The problem with making Nnamdi a safety is his suspect tackling ability. He did play some safety in college though.

    • JofreyRice

      He was a S/CB coming out of Cal, and got moved to full=time CB in the NFL. He’s lost in the sauce in zone coverage, is a suspect tackler in the open field, and isn’t very good at blitzing.

  • UncleCarm

    I can’t get the word mercenaries out of my head. We need to take a page from Bill Walsh and pay attention to a guys attitude and personallity to see if it will fit here in Philly, not just look at their stat sheet and athletic abilities. Give me a team full of blue collar guys instead of these thoroughbreds.

  • Andrew Hope

    Question for Tim: on that last play, it seemed pretty clear that NA got blocked in the back. The refs said that’s a legal play if it happens in the extended neutral zone. That doesn’t seem like it can be the rule–a block in the back is a block in the back, regardless of where it takes place, right?

    • bentheimmigrant

      There are exceptions to the block in the back rule to do with what direction people are going in and who has the ball. It’s probably more complicated than necessary.

  • Ryan

    Look, Asomugha followed up arguably his best game in green with quite possibly his worst. Everything about that Jones TD was horrible and unacceptable, but I still think its ridiculous that people and the media have been blasting him all week as if he’s having a bad season. Quite the contrary, and coming into this game his metrics and stats were very, very good. In fact, they still are good even after the poor showing. And, yes, I realize that people want the all-pro that we signed from Oakland, but just because he’s not playing like the game’s best all-around corner doesn’t mean that he warrants criticism. Overall, right now our starting CB’s are this franchise’s biggest strength other than its half-back. The media pundits should be focusing there attention elsewhere because this team clearly has a plethora of problems.

  • Absecon

    NIce job Tim! I think the safties look bad and get caught out of position because of what they are asked to do, and it starts with the wide-9. I don’t think it’s their “lack of ability” in most cases. They are both still relatively young players and are miscast in their roles. Coleman should be a true strong safety and Allen should be a true free safety. They are hurt by this Castillo scheme of interchangeable safties….

  • I think it’s telling that Nnamdi says it’s “…embarassing for US…” No Nnamdi, high time you take some responsibility for your own week play while you’re cashing those checks.

  • NYCEagles

    What I’m struck by here is not problems with our defense (though they are apparent), but the way the Falcons offense designs plays to put our players in vulnerable positions, clear the field for catch-and-runs, etc. We seem to be lacking that sort of engineering.

    • Wilbert M.

      You nailed it. Marty/Andy (Mandy?) don’t seem to have the ability to call plays according to what the defense is giving them. The only game where there was anything resembling an “adjustment” was the Giants game.

  • JB

    Stop making excuses for Nnamdi he can’t jam he can’t run with the elite wrs he was paid to cover he absolutely can not play zone he can somewhat tackle he was over hyped coming to town and def not a shut down cnr

  • Cambro

    The key for stopping QBs and getting quick sacks is removing the first option or look from the QB at least momentarily. Defenses must force good QBs into their second and third progressions or they will be beat every time. The wide-9, however, has the Eagles safeties creeping up to the line of scrimmage for run support and the corners typically in man on the outside with the linebackers running underneath zones or man coverage on the tight ends and backs. That means if the initial and primary target of a play comes open (like the Jones 63 yarder) the QB knows where he is going with it and he can flick it there. The secondary does not slow down the play and the pass rush has no chance. Teams playing against the Eagles are chipping the ends with backs and tight ends to slow them down by a split second and by the time they have a chance to change the play 2 seconds are over. The plays that are run against the Eagles, if the first option is open, only takes 2-3 seconds. The defense isn’t meshing, leaving the passing game to get absolutely shredded. The key isn’t blitzing, it is confusing the QB so he doesn’t know if his first and second reads will be open. This will fix the pass rush.

  • eagles2zc

    I’m interested to know how many seconds did Ryans have in the pocket on that Jones TD catch. Dline got to hit QBs a couple of time and get in their heads