Riding the momentum of a recent rebranding campaign, Visit Wichita was searching for an agency partner to increase hotel stays in Wichita, specifically for summer 2015 and holiday 2015. The summer 2015 campaign was the first time that Wichita would have dedicated TV, radio, print, and digital advertising out in the marketplace. This was an exciting opportunity, but it represented a big challenge, as Wichita sought to attract visitors while working to overcome its own negative self-image. As Visit Wichita’s chosen partner, we recognized that to bring people in from outside, we needed to start by building pride from inside our city.
Before we could attract outsiders to Wichita, we needed to improve the city's self-image. The leisure campaign was created with the additional underlying goal of promoting Wichita through brand-building rather than tactical marketing.
We knew that one the best indicators of this campaign's success would be the amount of hotel stays reported, so to tackle this we divided our audience into two targets: group and leisure. We targeted group messaging to meeting planners, while leisure messaging spoke to the general shopping, dining, and fun-loving public. We developed a cohesive multi-media campaign centered on the call-to-action, It’s Time to Explore. This simple message communicated to Wichitans and other target markets that Wichita is full of hidden gems in every leisure category. With the help of video production legends Burly Studios, we captured footage that showcased a surprising selection of unique locations to produce a 30-second TV commercial. Shoot locations included museums, locally-owned coffee shops, and an upscale shopping-plaza, among others. We paired the vibrant footage with an infectiously upbeat guitar soundtrack. Our media buying partner, Copp Media, made sure the ads were sent to the right audiences in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
Thanks to a survey conducted by Insights, metrics and data are available for the 2015 summer campaign. The report showed that awareness of Wichita as a travel destination has increased significantly since 2010, with more than 1 million households in the target markets aware of the summer campaign. The report proved that highlighting unexpected attractions and often-overlooked locations piqued potential visitors’ interest, making them want to find out more about how to explore Wichita. Finally, the data showed that TV ads are especially effective at improving the image of the city, a wonderfully positive indicator for the future of our partnership with Visit Wichita.