To the leader of Birmingham City Council, it represents good value for money - a #100,000 campaign using a fictitious American visitor to trumpet the area's virtues as a tourist destination.
What it will certainly do is promote strong opinions for and against.
But Coun Mike Whitby (Con Harborne) could hardly find enough words to praise the efforts of Shakespearian actor Rob Laughlin, who has been hired by the council to play the part of Wilbur Snr - a hapless guitarstrumming, Hawaiian shirt-wearing hick from Birmingham Alabama, complete with Stetson and an accent to rival that of Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard.
The script has good-ol'-boy Wilbur arriving in Birmingham by accident.
He intended to go to London but got on the wrong coach at Stratford-upon-Avon where he had been doing "the Shakespeare thang". Once here, he can't believe the gems that Birmingham has to offer and sets about urging local people to get out and enjoy the many free attractions on their doorstep.
Posters featuring Wilbur in a variety of poses have been placed on prominent billboard sites across the city and a high-profile television and radio advertising campaign is underway.
Might the whole thing be interpreted as, well, just a little amateurish for the second largest city in the UK, not to say patronising? Will the people of multi-cultural Birmingham take to being lectured about their own city by such a grotesque caricaturisation of a typical American?
Mike Whitby was having none of it, at one stage insisting that Wilbur was an entirely impartial visitor.
Warming to his theme before television cameras at yesterday's launch on the steps of the Council House, Coun Whitby added: "I am so pleased that Wilbur Snr got lost and then found this treasure island by accident. He is more than pleased that he got off the coach in Birmingham."
Describing the campaign theme as a "very clever and highly subliminal piece of humour", Coun Whitby revealed that he was thinking about rewarding Birmingham's new American friend.
"I have the power to nominate people for gongs and I may nominate Wilbur for an OBE," Coun Whitby said.
He may have been joking, but none of the acolytes nervously hopping around behind their leader could be certain.
Wilbur is likely to be the first of a series of characters invented by the council to promote Birmingham, in the first instance concentrating on reaching out to Brummies.
Coun Whitby added: "He could just as easily have been Fritz from Germany. But Americans are very significant tourists with a high disposable income and they put themselves out to come to the UK. They don't just fall out of bed and roll down the road to get here.
"We want the people of Birmingham not only to be proud of the city but also to enjoy the city."
The Wilbur character was invented by the council's local services unit. Dawn Wise, head of marketing, said: "This campaign shows that the council has a sense of humour. We are reaching out to people with humour and slapstick. No one would take it seriously."
Ms Wise said local people needed to realise that they could enjoy a good-value day out in Birmingham rather than pay a "horrendous" amount to travel to London. A visit to the Birmingham Nature Centre, the Art Gallery and Museum, a picnic in a park and a Travel West Midlands daysaver ticket would cost no more than #13 for a family, she added.
Wilbur's words of wisdom
Hey guys, you Brummies should be very proud of having the biggest free arts festival in the whole of the UK. I can't wait until September 8 to join the other 100,000 folks for a big party all over town.
I discovered the best thing ever about your Central Library - I popped in there to look up my ancestors' family tree 'cos someone told me that my great great gran-daddy came from Sheldon and while I was in there found out that I can email the folks back home for free.
I thought we had the exclusive on rangers in the US of A, but I found out that you have whole troops of them there park rangers organising 'countryside in the city' events and taking people on bat and moth nights and bug hunts. Wow!
In the States we have Citizen Kane, but I hear that your favourite Brummie citizen is Babu the Red Panda at the Birmingham Nature Centre. If you don' mind me saying, I found that a bit peculiar, but I went on down there to see him and he's cute! Did you know you can take the kids for free!
All of your museums are free to visit. More than half of your Birmingham population visited them last year - 539,892 of you to be precise. Could be 'cos of that world famous PreRaphaelite collection of paintings and drawings?
Ma good lady loves the theatre, and she was really impressed by your City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Royal Ballet. As ma home town has the same name, do you think we could borrow them once in a while?
The Lord of the Rings movies are my second favourite film trilogy (after Star Wars!) so I'm well impressed that JRR Tolkien actually lived in Birmingham and that your Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill may have inspired his writing. Make sure you visit like I did before October 29 because it shuts down for the winter.
Don't forget, it won't cost you a dime!
You have some great, big houses round here. It takes 800 candles to light Aston Hall up for Christmas. And then there's Highbury in Moseley, Joseph Chamberlain's old home - his back yard was so big it's now a public park. Gee!