Virginia Tourism Corp. Makes Advertising Affordable

Strategy: Be Creative (More with Less), Focus on Customer Potential

Type of attraction: Tourism Organization

Summary: The Virginia Tourism Corporation has had a cooperative advertising program for many years, but with the economic downturn, they wanted to do even more to ensure that destinations and attractions could afford to advertise.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation has had a cooperative advertising program for many years, but with the economic downturn, they wanted to do even more to ensure that destinations and attractions could afford to advertise. With that in mind, they challenged all of their media partners to come up with advertising opportunities that were very affordable.

The results were what the VTC wanted; for example, the popular magazine Southern Living created an co-op ad program with costs as low as $1,000. At the same time, the VTC began a new advertising campaign to further increase awareness and interest in a Virginia vacation. Building on the classic “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, the new campaign announced “Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.” To prepare for the campaign, the VTC conducted extensive visitor research. The research showed that a new primary target is GenX – travelers in their 20s – replacing the Baby Boomers as the state’s top market.

The good news in the research is that this age group is interested in outdoor recreation AND cultural experiences, perhaps creating a new market for cultural heritage travel. http://www.vatc.org/advertising/index.asp