The month of October brings many things to look forward to: crisp fall air, the eruption of auburn hues from the trees, and Halloween to name a few. But in the small, seaside community of Morehead City, North Carolina there is one more thing to add to that medley of feelings: The North Carolina Seafood Festival. The streets of downtown Morehead become alive with carnival rides and booths upon booths of delicious seafood to be consumed. You name it and it can probably be found amongst the crowded booths that weave their way down the main and side streets of the festival, shrimp, crab, oysters, clam, calamari, eel, sea urchin, flounder, rockfish, redfish, any kind of fish. With almost 150,000 people attending each year, the Seafood Festival, which celebrated its 25th year this past year, isn’t something that should be overlooked.
With an emphasis on promoting the seafood industry’s positive economic and social impact on the state of North Carolina, the booths filled with the fresh seafood are one of the main reason people keep coming back year after year. Thus when marketing the festival to remind those who have experienced it before and to garner the attention of those who have yet to attend, focusing on the coast is an integral part of the campaign. Ad campaigns feature footage of the festival the year before, but also focus on the people who make the festival happen: the fishermen. Ads have been known to focus on their stories and what part they play in making the festival come alive. This personal touch brings a deeper meaning and connection with the festival for patrons. The promotion of the Seafood Festival digs deep into the roots of the festival and that is what has been continually celebrated for the past 25 years.
-Jessica Kingman, Alaethea Hensley, and Lauren Phelps