When the ad agency behind Rhode Island's official tourism ad slipped up and included some images from Iceland, a local oral surgeon saw an opening.
The tourism video released in March was quickly pulled after being mocked for showing footage of a Reykjavik concert hall, albeit with a skateboarder from Rhode Island rolling past.
Dr. Stephen Skoly of Cranston said he saw the state's mistake and thought, “We could do a lot better,” he told the Associated Press.
Skoly, who owns a production company, created his own 30-second video featuring local footage with the tagline, “Sea Rhode Island.”
He said it cost about $575 to make and $3,000 to air locally on CNN and elsewhere. The original video cost $20,000 and was part of a $5 million campaign, according to CNN.
“We did it for a small amount of money and I think it's better than what they spent an awful lot of money on,” he said. “That was my little, subtle protest of how they're reckless with our capital, to the point that it does frustrate the taxpayers.”
Other fallout from the Iceland blunder included the state dropping the poorly received marketing slogan “Cooler & Warmer” and the resignation of the state chief marketing officer.
When asked about Skoly's ad, a spokeswoman for the state's economic development agency, said the next phase of the tourism campaign is “all about public engagement.”
Skoly said that no one from the state has approached him about his ad, or vice versa. His plans depend on the feedback he receives.