Montana Tourism Campaigns Named Mercury Award Finalists at ESTO

Hoffman York was honored to have two campaigns for the Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development recognized as finalists at the prestigious Mercury Awards at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) Conference held in Austin on August 20, 2019.

“After winning three Mercury Awards last year, we were thrilled to be a finalist in two categories again this year,” said Montana Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice. “We know the campaigns are working. Following a few years of record-breaking out-of-state visitors to Montana we see that visitation has started to stabilize, and those visitors are spending more in our vibrant communities.”

Mobile FY19 Winter Native Video

Promoting Montana tourism is more than pretty pictures. Sophisticated data, research, and audience targeting mean every dollar spent marketing Montana results in $74-$82 in revenue for communities across the state.

Each year, The Mercury Awards recognize state and territory marketing excellence. With hundreds of entries, the Mercury Awards are a prestigious way to honor the year’s greatest creative.

“Research is key to everything we do for Montana,” said Troy Peterson, Hoffman York Chief Executive Officer. “Turning the insights we gain into interesting and engaging content is critical to our success. We are thrilled our efforts are paying off for Montana Tourism.

The Mercury Awards, presented by the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD), recognize excellence and creative accomplishments in state destination marketing in 13 categories. Montana and Hoffman York were finalists in the Digital Campaign and Printed Collateral Materials categories.

The Montana Tourism entry in the Digital Campaign category focused on their Integrating Montana Moments campaign. This campaign focused targeting that included three Montana visitor audiences:  educated travelers, families and winter enthusiasts. Cross-media execution, strategic content, influencer marketing, social media, retargeting and weather-triggered ads all contributed to the success of this campaign that delivered hundreds of millions of consumer impressions. Data showed that more than 90% of Montana’s target audience that traveled to the state was influenced by our marketing efforts.

According to the judges, this was a finalist because...

The judges felt this was the best use of social media, influencer marketing, content strategy and video in social media that they have seen. They had fantastic content, laser-focused targeting and beautiful cross-media execution. The team at Montana Office of Tourism delivered a comprehensive, well-constructed plan to drive visitation from their target audiences through this campaign. Everything from the research leading in to this work, to the partners involved, to the considerations of sequential messaging indicate the set up would yield strong results. The retargeting campaign using augmented data sourced from Arrivalist to verify ROI is best practice for DMOs.

In the Printed Collateral Material category, the Montana campaign finalist was Evolving Success. This campaign was built on the successful efforts establishing three newly identified audiences while also becoming more effective with creative and efficient with the budget. With significant organic traffic to the VISITMT.COM website and millions of consumer advertising impressions with the help of new guidebooks and publication inserts, impressions were up but the cost per thousand (CPM) was down.

According to the judges, this was a finalist because…..

Montana’s strategy is designed well to answer the brief communication message, and is deeply rooted in consumer research. The pieces are beautifully executed, and they had a creative use of data. The campaign drove significant results that were measurable, and Montana had great use of data to inform creative strategy.

To learn more about Hoffman York and its award-winning creative solutions for clients check out our case studies including our Montana Tourism case study or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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