Destinations Council Destiny Awards > Digital Campaign
Destinations Council Destiny Awards > Digital Campaign
About This Entry:
As part of our strategy to engage prospective travelers through entertainment-based content about the city, we saw the opportunity to capitalize on our audience’s tendency to watch most of their programming online or through digital devices. We wanted to create a digitally-driven series that could tap into their passion for engaging episodic content.
One of the shows our Advenculturist audience (25-50-year old’s who travel frequently and are drawn to anything intellectually stimulating) gravitated towards was The Amazing Race which wasn’t totally surprising given their love of travel and the show’s recognition for being one of the more relatable and inspiring reality shows.
In talking to CBS, we found an interesting insight to build upon. As a viewer, everyone assumes that the contestants have this amazing round-the-world adventure, soaking in all the culture from the various destinations they visit. But the reality is they are on a mission to move so fast that they rarely actually take in their surroundings. They don’t really ‘enjoy’ or soak in the destinations they visit.
With a city that has as much depth and texture as Seattle, we saw the opportunity to change that dynamic. We could create a new take on the show to not just engage our audience, but deliver a depth of experience these ‘racers’ didn’t typically enjoy.
And we could do it in a digital-first way that was as progressive as the city itself.
Our objectives remained simple. We wanted to share more of Seattle’s story by driving viewership of the show on VISITSEATTLE.tv on YouTube. We also wanted to drive engagement around the show – including social spread and conversation.
Ultimately, these behaviors could lead to filling more rooms, more often: the true indicator of our success.
Partnering with CBS, we invited 3 past couples (Amy & Maya; Brody & Kurt and Cindy & Ernie) from the actual show to compete in a different kind of race with the goal of seeing how much you can soak up within one city: Seattle. Because here, the more you dig in, the more you get out.
Through a digitally-released 6-part episodic series we sent our racers daily invitations to explore the city in different ways. ‘Hosted’ by Seattle-native and city-lover, Catherine Lowe (of The Bachelor fame), her daily invitations to the racers encouraged them to explore the depth of textures and experiences in Seattle.
Collectively, teams traveled an average of 55 miles per day and visited over 37 locations throughout the city during the show.
We released one episode every Monday through VISITSEATTLE.tv. Teasers for the episodes ran as pre-roll, mid-roll and native video on CBS.com, YouTube and social platforms to drive tune-in for the show. Knowing our audience’s desire for ‘recaps and previews’ we designed each trailer and a piece of weekly native content on CBS to give them a taste of what had happened and what’s to come.
YouTube remarketing tactics enabled us to promote the show to those who had engaged in the prior week’s episode as well as those who had engaged with the original show. And having our contestants, as well as some high-profile locals, like Ryan Lewis and former Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett, who ran into our racers along the way, active on their own social channels added to the show’s visibility and engagement.
The Emerald Race quickly became one of our most watched shows on VISITSEATTLE.tv last year. The show garnered 2.4 million views in 4 months, with 50 percent of those coming from mobile devices. But more importantly, the show delivered over 8.4 million minutes of watch time, accounting for over 40 percent of our channel’s watch time for the year.
Engagement in the series led to an incremental 18 million additional earned impressions. Time spent with the content on CBS properties was 4 times the average, with visitors spending an average of 4 ½ minutes on the page. And our content earned over 5,000 positive engagements in social and reached over 7 million people through our talent’s social posts alone.
The success of this series contributed to triple the time spent on VISITSEATTLE.tv from the year prior as well as a total 19 million minutes of watch time across our channel.
The focus on content overall helped drive a record high business year for Visit Seattle, achieving record visitor numbers (3.9 percent increase from year prior) and record occupancy of 84.2 percent.
Why This Is A Finalist:
The judges loved everything about this campaign—from challenge to solution to creative. The overreaching theme of “The Emerald Race” and its attachment to the iconic show, “The Amazing Race” was brilliant and gave the audience a "can't-wait-for-the-next-episode," mentality which is exactly what you want for a campaign. The strategy, showing the distinction through others' eyes, was a great idea. Using the idea of the race with custom video was also a great idea.
The campaign had strong creativity and the campaign theme gave Visit Seattle the opportunity to share everything Seattle has to offer under one banner and one purpose. The fact that it was wrapped in a contest of past reality television show winners was a huge bonus and gave the campaign more legs than ever. The campaign had great results, demonstrated by people engaging with the content. When you have an audience waiting for the next episode of a brand campaign, you've hit your mark.
- Category Winner