Are We Fun-Sized?

As a lifelong Rhode Islander, my instinct was to mock this.

Screengrab via VisitRhodeIsland.com.

Are we fun-sized? Are we nothing but a tiny treat in a sack of seasonally disbursed sugar?

Are we even the best candy in said sack? Are we Three Musketeers? Are we Kit Kats? Are we Snickers? Are we PayDay? (Anything but PayDay.)

Or are we worthy of an impulse buy at the checkout, and all year round? I’d much rather be a full-sized — king-sized, even! — candy bar. Being fun-sized is no fun at all.

I’ve spent way too much time thinking about Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s new tourism campaign, a locally produced series of short digital ads highlighting Rhode Island’s great places.

It comes — verrrry quietly — in the long shadow of the state’s wholly despised Cooler/Warmer campaign. (At least the governor had a sense of humor about it.) PBN broke the news of the digital ad campaign earlier this week.

The videos, eight thus far with a plan for up to eighteen, were produced by NAIL Communications in Providence. They capture places like the Steel Yard, Rooftop at the ProvidenceG, Block Island, Beavertail and other locales. (No Iceland anywhere.) They feature young, happy, attractive people in each environment, then quick-zoom out to show their relative smallness. The ads will appear on national travel websites and other digital platforms.

As a lifelong Rhode Islander, my instinct was to mock this. I think we can chalk it up to the Napoleon complex. We’re not small! You’re small!

Okay, okay. We’re small. And, as I’ve learned over many wasted minutes of contemplation, we really are fun-sized. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation needed capture the vast tourism opportunities afforded in the Ocean State. And our really big (HUGE) asset?

You can rent a beach house for a week in ’Gansett and, while you’re here, you can take a day trip up to Providence for the food and art scene, bop to Newport to drool over the mansions and catch a quick ferry ride to Block Island to soak up some natural beauty.

Rhode Island: Fun-sized. Yep. I get it. I like it. It’s cute. You can savor it with just a few bites. It won’t give you a bellyache. Fun-sized is a taste; there’s more fun to be had. With a friend. With your family. Heck, even by yourself. You don’t have to share your fun-sized.

Here’s the real stumper: If a fun-sized candy bar is eaten by a seagull at Scarborough, wrapper and all, did it ever exist?


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