PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - A new tourism advertising campaign is underway, and South Mississippi business owners want you to be the star of the commercials. On Saturday, an aerial drone equipped with a camera will fly over Bay St. Louis. Next week, the same flight will take place over Pass Christian. On both days, the public is asked to come out and take part in the filming.
Merchants told WLOX News why local support is so important to the campaign's success. Once people get that first taste of Old Town Bay St. Louis, local merchants have no doubt they'll be hooked.
"If people ever get to the Bay, they love it and they stay," said business owner Ann Tidwell. "They come back, and a lot of people are moving back."
Just across the bridge, the Pass Christian Main Street Association is also looking for ways to attract more visitors. A series of commercials are being filmed that will feature the businesses, the attractions and the beauty of both cities. Jennifer Burke is Executive Director of the Pass Christian Main Street Association.
"While a lot of us here in the Pass love what we have here and love what we have to offer, sometimes it's like a secret about how great the Pass truly is as far as everything we have. Whether you're looking to come shop, dine, play. We feel like we have a great selection of everything to do here in Pass Christian," said Burke.
During part of the filming, the production company will take to the skies with an aerial drone equipped with a camera.
"The merchants would like to invite folks to come out and smile and wave as we fly the drone camera over the new harbors and then through town to highlight the businesses who are producing the commercial," said Steven Walker, of Confidence Artist Productions.
Business owners said they're counting on big turnouts to make the ads successful.
"We'll be using these ads primarily on our Facebook and website pages," Burke said. "Then, we'll be looking to run them in local media and potentially outside in our drive in areas so New Orleans, Mobile, Jackson, Birmingham and those areas."
Anyone wanting to take part in the commercials is invited to meet Saturday in front of the North Beach Restaurant in Bay St. Louis and Aug. 9, on Davis Avenue in Pass Christian. On both days the filming will begin at 5 p.m.
Pass Christian Main Street officials said the Pass Christian commercial is being paid for in part with BP money designated to promote tourism in oil spill affected areas.