Recently, I’ve noticed friends have been sharing an old promo video for the Greater Pensacola area. I’ve seen it a few times; the video springs up out of obscurity every six months or so to be shared on social media. Produced in 1964, it’s age is evident in the way the video is narrated in that 60’s sort of way, complete with flourishes of orchestral music in the background (not to mention it’s in black and white). I can’t help but think of reruns of the original Mickey Mouse Club.
It has its charms, though. In many ways, it’s like going through a time machine: recognizing places that are familiar, but not quite; hearing little morsels of facts and lore, some new and others that still get repeated today; seeing what the community valued and wanted to promote fifty years ago. It’s alluring to get a glimpse into Pensacola’s past as we, in the present, still want to promote Pensacola as the best place to live, work, and play.
It made me think about what we’re doing to promote Pensacola today, and I thought of the videos that Visit Pensacola has been producing. The differences in production are readily apparent. Gone is the orchestral music and narrator. Instead, there’s dynamic music and imagery with rapid cutaways. The result is a reflection of the way that we consume media. Whereas the 1964 promo video looks like something that might have screened in a theater before the premiere of Mary Poppins or My Fair Lady, Visit Pensacola’s video seems more at home on Twitter or Facebook, shared and quickly seen by many. A lot has changed since 1964.
What hasn’t changed, though, is the overall essence of our message. Pensacola is and always has been a vibrant community, then and now. The rich cultural experiences, the opportunities to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of our area, and the unique history are valuable assets that we should protect and promote. After all, in one way or another, isn’t that what brought us here?