New Colonial Williamsburg ad aimed at digital generation

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The opening scene of a new Colonial Williamsburg advertisement, which was released on Facebook Wednesday. (Courtesy CW)
The opening scene of a new Colonial Williamsburg advertisement, which was released on Facebook Wednesday. (Courtesy CW)

Colonial Williamsburg released a new advertisement this week, which encourages viewers to put down their smartphones and enjoy a journey into the past. 

The ad, which aired in the Washington, D.C. area Thursday, features a young man seated on a bus, staring at his smartphone. The phone’s clock suddenly starts moving in reverse and the man is transported to Colonial Williamsburg — and back in time to the 1700s.

The 30-second video was released on Facebook Wednesday. Since its release, the video has received more than 41,000 views and been shared more than 600 times as of Friday morning.

“We have a new commercial,” read the post. “We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share it with all of our faithful followers…Whether you’ve visited Colonial Williamsburg before or you’re simply looking for a way to do some time traveling, it’s time to go back.”

Seconds into the advertisement, after the clock on the main character’s smartphone rolls back time, the man is dropped into a bustling Colonial Williamsburg. As the man walks through town, life unfolds around him, women weave textiles, blacksmiths hammer on anvils, vendors sell their goods at the market, and soldiers run drills in the fields.

Andrea Sardone, Executive Director of Marketing at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, credited the concept and development of the advertisement to Creative Director Shari Hindman.

“We drew our inspiration from what we do best—transport our guests back in time with an immersive experience of the stories of America’s Founding generation,” Sardone wrote in an email. “We wanted to show the various dimensions of our 18th-century city.”