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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Visit California's Dream365 Project

[ #ipw14 ]
Bob Burnquist's Floating Skate Ramp on Lake Tahoe
YouTube takeover & digital campaign yield double-digit growth in search & likeliness to visit; preliminary results affirm potential of Visit California's new branded content strategy

Preliminary results* of Visit California's Dream365 Project and its supporting digital campaign indicate increased demand for California travel. A new, ongoingdigital content initiative, Dream365 launched February 28, 2014 with 24-hour YouTube masthead takeovers in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. The takeovers kicked-off a four month, $3.7 million media buy designed to drive traffic to Visit California's new collection of video content that celebrates California dreams and dreamers—under the banner of “The Dream 365 Project.” The campaign also includes display advertising, video pre-roll, partnership integration, SEM and social media activity and is on target to reach 468 million impressions.

“The Dream365 Project has given Visit California a dynamic virtual showroom to entertain and connect with consumers around the world while telling a multitude of stories about the California brand and experience,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “The ongoing nature of the initiative combined with access to real time results enables us to continuously refine our approach and cater to a truly global audience.”

To date, engagement and click-through rates have exceeded YouTube overall industry average benchmarks. The YouTube takeovers alone yielded 22,270 hours of engagement time, equivalent to 2.5 years of content interaction. The overall campaign has driven double-digit increases in California travel search volume: +2% UK, +16% Australia, +18% US and +26% Canada. The high awareness and engagement levels led to significant increases in consideration (+7%) and likeliness to visit (+17%) across audiences exposed to the branded content.

From celebrating California's natural beauty, quirky culture and distinctive lifestyle to shining the spotlight on inspiring individuals, incredible artistry and humorous points-of-view, The Dream365 Project ultimately strives to reach outside Visit California's own material and beyond the “traditional” destination video formula. Of the 24 videos introduced during the first phase of the campaign, the most popular are:
  • Bob Burnquist's Floating Skate Ramp on Lake Tahoe
  • The All-Amazing Yosemite Time Lapse
  • Band of Horses' “DreamGig” under the Hollywood sign
  • Edward Sharpe's Big Top Dream
  • SoulPancake Presents: Dream Tree
Bob Burnquist's Floating Skate Ramp video went viral, generating over 678,000 views across eight countries in five weeks, with only 13% of that traffic resulting from paid media. New videos will continue to be added to The Dream365 Project in coming months, along with different types of digital content like 360° Google Photo Sphere imagery and curated Instagrams.

“This is only the beginning of an exciting new phase in Visit California's strategic marketing evolution,” said Beteta. “The timing and environment were right to commit to a fresh content approach and take our digital presence to the next level. As home state to the global entertainment industry and some of the world's most influential tech pioneers, California is uniquely positioned to create, curate and showcase inspiring video content that resonates with the dreamer in everyone.”

"Visit California has set a high bar for what a company can achieve when they fully embrace the opportunities of digital, and especially online video and YouTube,” said Rob Torres, Industry Director, Travel at Google. “Their savvy approach to content creation and to advertising on YouTube produced a remarkable amount of brand engagement that should make travel marketers - and marketers across all industries - take note of how digital can truly win the moments that matter."

Visit California (formerly known as the California Travel & Tourism Commission) is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state's travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, travel and tourism expenditures total $112.8 billion annually in California, support jobs for 931,000 Californians and generate $7 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor's Guide, go to www.visitcalifornia.com.


*Campaign result data sourced from Google Analytics, Google and SMARI research.
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