Pharrell plans ‘Virginia’ song, ad campaign ahead of Something in the Water

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach has a new theme to help increase tourism — and Pharrell Williams is at the center of it.

Pharrell’s next big thing is the ad campaign “We’re Open.” Driving home the point in Virginia Beach that our hearts are open, our minds are open and our arms are open.

It all builds off Pharrell’s Something in the Water music festival. It was a success in its first year. To promote the festival, there will be two commercials and a new song by Pharrell called “Virginia.”

Pharrell’s new “Virginia” song will be unveiled March 1.

Pharrell’s head of strategy on this project is Robby Wells, who told City Council members Tuesday about the commercials. Wells showed council members what the commercials will portray.

“The sun is out, shining brightly and we have a sweeping shot of the beaches with the sun coming up. We follow our success to shots of businesses with the signs ‘We are open,'” he said.

The commercials are not ready to reveal, nor is the song, so Wells continued walking those at the council workshop through what can be expected.

“We will see sand on the beach, groomed to perfection. Still in pre-dawn light, we will see fluffing pillows and pulling back curtains,” he said.

The goal is if people feel like the city is full of allies — that it is safe, relaxing, hassle-free fun — then it will be a magnet for Virginia Beach and attract thousands.

“We see a chef, alone in his stainless steel kitchen cutting vegetables, and placing them in storage containers; still pre-dawn. We see a man feeding seals at the aquarium,” Wells said, describing the commercial.

The point of the commercial is that residents and businesses in Virginia Beach before 6 a.m. than many people do in a day.

Back to the commercial, the narrator says Virginia Beach is open and people are on camera, Wells said.

“We hear one say, ‘We’re open.’ We see another one say ‘We are excited to see you.’ We hear another one say ‘We are ready for you,’ and then Pharrell says ‘Virginia Beach is open once again,’” Moss told council members.

On March 28, Pharrell will have “24 Hours of Open.” That will be when people in the community get ready for Something in the Water. They will beautify, clean, get the area ready as a demonstration Virginia Beach is welcoming festival-goers.


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