Texas wasn’t standing out as a place to visit. Negative stereotypes were holding the state back, and it was losing ground to Florida and California. Leisure travel was down 17% in Texas but up 12% nationwide.
As Texas natives, we took this personally, and knew we could help. All we had to do was show the world what makes Texas a destination like no other.
The biggest thing going for Texas, besides being the greatest state in the union, was the state’s tourism tagline. But, the way that tagline was being used wasn’t connecting to the right audiences. So, we decided to bring “It’s Like a Whole Other Country” to life by putting it front and center as part of a new campaign.
We created consistent powerful messaging across all channels by fully integrating all of our efforts, giving the Lone Star State the tourism campaign it deserved.
People had no idea there was more to Texas than cowboy hats and the Alamo. That’s why we precisely targeted potential visitors based on their online activity. Then we delivered messages customized to content, behaviors, and audience segments, making sure they saw ads that resonated while they were on websites where travel planning happens.
In year three of the campaign, we recommended a pivot towards a younger, but increasingly relevant, Millennial audience. This meant a new approach to the content we created and how it was deployed.
Millennials have a finely tuned BS radar and were quickly becoming an important audience. We created #TexasToDo to give visitors authentic recommendations from real Texans. This connected with Millennials’ desires to travel like a local, instead of a tourist. We extended the campaign by focusing on user-generated social media content, localized contra-seasonal efforts, rich media content and even a ten-city mobile truck tour to seed the message.
We also produced long-form storytelling videos. These were distributed via highly targeted social campaigns based on the varied interests of that younger audience who were less likely to use travel guides. These videos were also featured on our website and contributed to an increase of time spent on the page.
To match the change in audience, we also shifted the perspective of our traditional creative. Instead of showing the view from 30,000 feet, we focused on showing Texas up close and personal, giving visitors a way to experience Texas like a local by creating a more in-the-moment feeling.
Our audience wasn’t the only thing that had changed; so had the way we consume media. So, we overhauled our media plan to capture the attention of an increasingly distracted audience, ensuring we maximized the value of all $35 million dollars of our media spend. How?