The folks at travel site TripAdvisor.com recently had to put a warning on their listing for Schrute Farms, the “number one beet-related agrotourism destination in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” not because of bad reviews or because the innkeepers would regale them with detailed descriptions of the various bears found in the region. No, it’s because Schrute Farms only exists in the magical world of TV.
If you’re unfamiliar with NBC’s The Office, it might explain why you’d never heard of Schrute Farms, operated by Dwight K. Schrute, Assistant to the Regional Manager of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton.
The family farm/inn has been mentioned on several episodes of the show. In one particular episode, they wanted to show a TripAdvisor listing for the farm so they got some cooperation from the folks at the site, who were happy for the national exposure.
“We don’t have a big marketing budget and don’t do TV ads,” a TripAdvisor exec tells the NY Times. “This was the big time.”
Even after the show premiered, TripAdvisor decided to keep the listing live out of a combination of LOL and marketing savvy. As of this moment, Schrute Farms has 693 reviews and counting, with an overall rating of 81% positive.
But if you go to the listing, you’ll notice immediately in the top-right corner a box reading:
“Message from TripAdvisor: As seen on NBC’s The Office. Have fun reading these reviews – go on, add your own! Just don’t try to book a visit here, because this fictional place doesn’t really exist.”
The site’s chief marketing officer said this needed to be added to the listing because “We had a complaint from someone who had wanted to go there.”
We’re guessing that complaint might have come from a tall, shaggy-haired guy named Jim…