HSMAI’s 2019 Adrian Awards competition will honor creativity and innovation in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations at the Awards Gala January 21, 2020 at the New York Marriott Marquis. Until this year’s winners are unveiled, take some inspiration from one of last year’s Platinum winners: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, whose “IcebergFinder.com Campaign” was honored in the Digital Marketing/Digital Campaign/Integrated Market Campaign for Consumers category. (View all of last year’s Adrian-winning submissions here.)
BACKGROUND: At the eastern-most edge of North America, there is a small area just off the Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) coast known as Iceberg Alley, where giant icebergs come down the shore every spring. Thousands of tourists come to visit each year, but with more than 18,000 miles of shoreline to explore, they need to know where to go. To help visitors find the icebergs in real time, NL Tourism created a responsive and fully interactive version of IcebergFinder.com.
RESEARCH: While the website already existed, NL Tourism improved its functionality, which increased the ability of travelers to witness the spectacle firsthand. The digital marketing campaign was designed to increase awareness of the website, encourage travelers to engage with the brand by sharing iceberg images, plotting view locations, and exploring the site, and make it easier for travelers to find out more about tourism operators located near the icebergs.
To draw in travelers in search of authentic experiences instead of just tourists, the campaign focused on attracting nonresidents of Canada over the age of 45, singles and couples with no children living at home, those with an above-average household income, and those who were university educated. The majority were in Ontario and considering travel to NL.
THE CAMPAIGN: Travelers, locals, and tourism operators take and upload photos of icebergs to IcebergFinder.com, and the location is plotted on a map in real time, highlighting prime-viewing locations. Visitors can browse photo galleries on the site and connect with nearby provincial tourism operators. Through the marketing campaign, paid display ads drove relevant traffic to the page, while social media highlighted assets from influencers to increase awareness. Weekly alerts were sent out through eNewsletters, promoting the number of icebergs each week.
RESULTS: Social media and eNewsletters increased awareness of the site and its enhanced functionality. More than 33,000 people engaged with Facebook posts during the campaign, and the eNewsletters boasted an open rate of 37 percent — far exceeding the tourism industry benchmark of 15.5 percent. More than 466,000 people interacted with the site, uploading 400 images during the campaign. In just two months, 45,000 people viewed the photo gallery, with an engagement rate of 732 percent. Meanwhile, provincial tourism operators received 5,000 referrals through the site.