Giant Stuffies are Coming to an Airport Near Your Friends and Family

No, it's not an April Fools' joke: the installations are part of a $4.5 million campaign to entice air travelers into visiting Rhode Island.

Is there anything more enticing than a chopped-up bivalve-and-bread mix crammed into a clam shell… on a giant fiberglass scale?

Rhode Island tourism marketers don’t seem to think so, hence why several seven-foot tall, three-dimensional stuffie installations will pop up in select airports across the country this summer as part of a $4.5 million campaign to draw travelers to the Ocean State. The destinations in question will include those with direct flights to and/or from T.F. Green, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit and Baltimore.

In an emailed statement to the Providence Journal, Rhode Island Commerce Deputy Communications Director Lindsay Russell said stuffies were chosen over other local foodie favorites for their uniqueness and because the installation design, “is an eye-catching visual intended to make potential visitors curious to learn more.” She also said it’s meant to capitalize on Rhode Island’s delicious cuisine offerings, but additional installations, such as a miniature Newport mansion, are also on the table.

The stuffies won’t be alone, however, at least not during their initial unveilings: Russell also told the Journal that brand ambassadors will be on hand to offer passersby the chance to win Rhode Island swag and visits.

It’s not the first local advertising campaign to fall into the realm of quirky (who else misses running into the occasional life-size Mr. Potato Head?) or even questionable (need I remind you of the Cooler and Warmer debacle?), and we’re sure it won’t be the last, but for now we’re enjoying the many colorful reactions to the news on the internet, such as:

The initial shock:

The skepticism:


The acceptance:

The pitches:

The call backs:

The memes:

And the inevitable questions:



My personal favorite? “Rhode Island gonna Rhode Island.”