Life-sized ‘stuffies’ to be used in airports to attract people to Rhode Island
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island Commerce is working on a new campaign that would put installations of life-sized “stuffies” in airports across the country.
Stuffies, also known as baked stuffed clams, are a Rhode Island staple.
The goal of these installations is to get people curious about Rhode Island and hopefully draw more people to the state.
Travelers at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport have mixed reviews on whether or not a stuffie would draw people into the Ocean State. Some people said yes, but many people said something else would better represent Rhode Island.
“What would you think if you saw a giant stuffed claim in the airport?” asked ABC 6’s Alyssa Azzara.
“SpongeBob lives here, I don’t know,” said one traveler.
“Would it make you want to come to Rhode Island?” asked Azzara.
“I think so…because it looks good,” said another traveler.
“I don’t think they would come to Rhode Island for that,” said a third traveler.
Some people say no way to the stuffie, but one traveler that spoke with ABC 6 thinks it’ll peak people’s curiosity.
The whole idea of these life-sized installations is to get people’s attention.
“The goal is to make them say, ‘Well, what is that?’ And when they say what is that, we have achieved part one of of goal, which is to get their attention and make them curious,”‘ said Anika Kimble-Huntley, chief marketing officer at Rhode Island Commerce.
Some travelers think Rhode Island Commerce could have picked something different to better represent the state.
“If Rhode Island had a great coastline, or water, or mansions to visit, maybe if I saw that I’d be more interested, a quahog… probably not,” said a traveler from Rhode Island.
Kimble-Huntley said they want to draw people in with something they may not know about, have travelers talk with ambassadors about it, and then hopefully they’ll visit the Ocean State.
“If we’re able to drive food tourism to restaurants who probably need the help selling stuffies then there’s an economic impact to that, then think about the trickle down affect, now you have the shellfish fisherman.. Maybe they’ll be a greater demand for quahog,” explained Kimble-Huntley.
Kimble-Huntley said they’re also looking at doing events and marketing around the stuffies as well as looking at putting a Newport mansion installation in airports.
The stuffie installations are a part of a $4.5 million air service marketing program.
Officials hope to have the stuffie in airports in June.