Offering a dozen rides on the wild side was the idea behind our Southern Dozen campaign for the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), and it’s a full-throttle success. Just ask the tens of thousands of motorcyclists who’ve brought their Harleys and Hondas to our mountains. Oh, by the way, ask the judges who voted the Southern Dozen Campaign “Best of Show” in an annual nationwide showdown of tourism marketing sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).
The marketing strategy was to leverage the rural mountain roads that surround Johnson City for a dozen unforgettable rides while using Johnson City’s hotels, restaurants and nightlife as the hub for the riders.
Teresa Treadway is the account executive who worked with CVB executive director, Brenda Whitson, on the concept. Art Director Dale Atkinson and Video Producer Kenny Thacker brought the idea to life. Using GoPro cameras attached to helmets and kick stands, the two developed 12 breathtaking videos documenting each ride. Then, we began to market the campaign via enthusiast magazines, online and through advertising in publications.
In July, the campaign was presented to ACCE judges, along with tourism campaigns from every corner of America, and our Southern Dozen earned Best of Show honors. There are so many ways to now leverage the Southern Dozen to new audiences. From women to car clubs, the Southern Dozen isn’t resting on its laurels – or the hundreds of thousands of tourism dollars it has drawn to Johnson City.
For tourism marketers, the lessons are that every community offers a unique experience that others are willing to pay for. The power of online video, produced in a fun and exciting way, should be part of your campaign. Leverage the videos through a microsite that is totally dedicated to your campaign so that it won’t be lost within a larger CVB website. Then, target publications that reach your target audience. Whether in print or online, these magazines can be a tremendous wellspring of interest that will generate traffic, to your campaign and to your city.