These destination marketing campaigns inspire us with smart strategy and cool creativity.
By Eric Corpus
Effective tourism marketing campaigns inspire travelers by capturing the spirit of the destination and sharing simple pathways to booking. In other words, you can bring visitors to a destination by bringing a destination to visitors.
To do this well, you should first determine your destination marketing goals based on your destination’s unique needs. Once you have a specific target in mind, it’s time for the fun: designing spectacular creative. Here are some campaigns we’re especially fond of.
Travel Oregon: Reenvisioning the Tour Guide Experience
Going on a guided tour can be one of the best ways to experience a destination, giving travelers historical context about a place as well as the inside scoop on the best activities, attractions and restaurants. Research on travel trends commissioned by Travel Oregon showed that visitors liked Oregon but often didn’t know what to do once they got there.
To address this gap, the organization developed the campaign, “Travel Oregon With Travel Oregon,” to simulate a series of guided tours across the state. Here’s the twist: The expert guides in the campaign are anthropomorphic puppets. SustainaBill, a beaver, recommends outdoor adventure tours, while Telephone Paul, a tall wooden pole, gives you the line on the arts and culture scene. These fictional characters help visitors make real connections to what people love about Oregon.
Destination Niagara USA: Engaging the Right Audience at the Right Time
Home to one of America’s most recognized natural wonders, the city of Niagara Falls also offers delightful seasonal experiences. To help visitors discover the appeal of each part of the year, Destination Niagara USA (DNU) tapped C/A to run segmented digital marketing campaigns for each season. These campaigns drive to landing pages on The Source, DNU’s content hub, wooing each audience with customized itineraries and attractions. The landing page for DNU’s family fall campaign, for example, promotes apple picking, hiking and leaf peeping.
New Mexico True: Centering User-Generated Content
Not every campaign needs a unique landing page. New Mexico True
runs its Instagram account as a landing page par excellence, drawing in the prospective traveler with otherworldly rock formations and cuisine so tempting you can almost smell it. Especially notable is that the content is primarily user-generated. With the #NewMexicoTRUE hashtag, the DMO encourages visitors to post their best shots for a chance to be featured on New Mexico True’s Instagram page. This achieves the dual benefit of keeping visitors engaged and providing a steady stream of outstanding photos for the feed. Of course, it helps that New Mexico is a natural Southwestern jewel, but when you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Pure Michigan: Capitalizing on Media Coverage and Collaborations
Upper Michigan was voted the top destination for fall foliage in a 2022 USA Today readers’ poll, and Pure Michigan makes sure to tout that accolade in its “Keep Falling for Fall” campaign. The seasonal landing page serves up everything you’d expect: autumnal itineraries, leaf-peeping updates, events and a collage of eye-popping foliage photos from their Instagram feed. It also features a video of Detroit poet jessica Care moore reciting her poem, “Keep Falling for Michigan,” juxtaposed with scenes of the state’s fall beauty.
The DMO also invested in a partnership with the world’s most venerable travel magazine, National Geographic, which includes video, paid content, email and social media promotion to draw in an even wider audience. Each media mention provides social proof of the message that Michigan’s fall experience is unmissable.
City of Globe: Designing Efficient Evergreen Creative
The city of Globe, Arizona, was looking to entice visitors to make the hourlong drive from Phoenix for a day trip. With a marketing capacity that reflected the small community of 7,000, the city had only search and social ads to work with. With C/A’s help, they created a couple of hard working landing pages that show off Globe’s gorgeous desert surroundings and rich history. The page promoting the area’s outdoor activities showcases photos of breathtaking landscapes alongside Southwestern-inspired graphic design elements and easily scannable copy.
The general landing page evokes a centuries-old culture still present in the charming small town today and allows prospective visitors to learn at a glance what makes Globe truly memorable. To give the city maximum return on its investment, we created these pages with a year-round audience in mind, allowing the landing pages to support a wide range of future destination marketing efforts.