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:
I’m speechless. A 7-foot stuffie at airports around US? https://t.co/G7nH2IwmoV via @projo
— Gail Ciampa (@gailciampa) April 18, 2023
Stuffed quahogs might be a top 10 food for me but there’s something decidedly unappetizing about seeing taller than a person. https://t.co/UCVn7Drbcb via @projo
— Jon Chesto (@jonchesto) April 18, 2023
If you’ve ever seen a stuffie, you’ll know why this is a bad idea. https://t.co/al40RfXlkm pic.twitter.com/bAIGhlXerw
— Samantha Ferreira is Writing an Anime History Book (@sam_animeherald) April 18, 2023
My little state keeps getting weirder. #embrace the #quahog #Rhody #seafood https://t.co/lV1s6bwwzc
— Priya Banerjee, MD (@Autopsy_MD) April 18, 2023
Rhode Island gonna Rhode Island… https://t.co/267kxII15v
— Ryan Gilbert (@RyanWGilbert) April 18, 2023
Small state, big clams. Tag lines write themselves for Rhode Island’s new tourism promotion featuring a 7 foot stuffie! pic.twitter.com/e2208IpFZR
— Saul Kaplan (@skap5) April 18, 2023
The call backs:
— Ethan Gyles (@ethangy) April 18, 2023
And the inevitable questions:
Did this mistakenly get auto tweeted today instead of April Fools’ Day? https://t.co/GOM8MlfRLJ
— Matt O’Connor (@moconnor815) April 18, 2023
It says a stuffie is a stuffed quahog. What is a quahog and what is it stuffed with?
— Rennie Thomas (@RennieThomas4) April 18, 2023
Do I want to know what a “stuffie” is?
— Bill from Pennsyltucky (@wcshaf) April 18, 2023
My personal favorite? “Rhode Island gonna Rhode Island.”