CASE STUDY

Montana Office of Tourism

Search Campaign

CHALLENGE

Our very first assignment for the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development was to make Montana a top-of-mind vacation destination with the ultimate goal of increasing both the number of visitors to the state and visitor spending in the state.

SOLUTION
  • We started by targeting the right audience.  In-depth brand and audience research identified two completely new high-potential target audiences — Educated Travelers and Families – for Montana Tourism.

  • An integrated campaign, that spoke to both audiences, incorporated key consumer insights and showcased Montana’s raw beauty. Advertising, PR, and content creation all helped get more people to discover Montana.

  • The award-winning campaign was so successful that it continued the next year – with a few updates and tweaks.

 

 

RO!

The campaign ran from March-August 2017 with hopes to increase interest, consideration, and visitation.  More than 92% of the target audience visitors to the state cited a Montana ad influencing their decision to visit Montana.  It turned out that 2017 was a record-breaking year for out of state visitors and visitor spend as well as:

  • 183 million social media impressions and 6.2 million social engagements – record-breaking

  •  2.8 million VISITMT website visits in 2017 – record-breaking

0

Million

Out-of-state Montana visitors

0

Percent

Bed tax revenue increase YOY

0

Billion

Record-breaking PR impressions

APPROACH

OUR CREATIVE PACKED QUICK VISUALS READS

Travelers plan their trips online so we incorporated that behavior with a search bar that served as the headline. We showcased natural beauty to draw attention and added a dropped pin to show the exact Montana location and help familiarize travelers with the state and its cities. Welcoming and informative body copy was short and playful.

Two open magazines showing full-page print publications for the Montana Moments campaign

SPREADS

Expansive ads in high-profile magazines such as Family Fun, Real Simple, Runner’s World and Wall Street Journal Magazine generated millions of impressions and strategically reached our Family and Educated Traveler audiences.

An open magazine showing a full-page spread publication for the Montana Moments campaign

TELEVISION

Three TV ads gave viewers a front-row seat to the beauty of Montana, featuring a family learning how to fly fish in Montana’s serene waters, a couple discovering the truly open road and an adventure in hiking, biking and trail running.

PUBLICITY CAPTURED OUR AUDIENCE

Editorial coverage met our audience where they already were – high profile trusted outlets including Outside magazine, Wall Street Journal Magazine, Runners World, Travel + Leisure and high profile bloggers.

Two iPads each showing a Montana digital publication.

OUR MEDIA INSPIRED AT EVERY TURN

Our integrated strategy had a layered approach. 

  • Advertising reached our target audiences via print, digital, TV, radio, and outdoor. 

  • Custom content was created through sponsored media and influencer partnerships

  • Social content included posts, Facebook Live events, and Facebook Canvas ads as well as collaborations with social media influencers delivering millions of impressions and engagements.

A billboard featuring a man riding a bike and a search bar above his head that reads: "Spin classes...in Montana"

SOCIAL MEDIA

VISITMT.COM visitors love trip ideas, so we decided to bring the road trip to them. A dynamic and creative Facebook Canvas allowed would-be travelers to swipe and click their way through a 6-day road trip featuring amazing adventures, stunning scenery and charming towns.

DIGITAL & RETARGETING

Web goers were invited to explore Montana’s many activities, resorts and towns through strategic retargeting. The HY trade desk combined with advanced social targeting brought travelers from awareness to interest to action.

AWARDS

The campaign was recognized for excellence and creativity and won three Mercury Awards from the U.S. Travel Association at its 2018 Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in the categories of Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign; Printed Collateral Materials; and Social Media Campaign.

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