Focus on Lead Generator Pays Off for Tourism British Columbia

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Tourism British Columbia's biggest market is in California, specifically Los Angeles. However, the tourist authority's existing American direct response television campaign was performing poorly.

In addition, the organization was under tremendous pressure from other travel destinations competing for the Californian consumer's share of mind and wallet.

The existing TV advertisement was heavily focused on the beauty of British Columbia. But it did little to motivate consumers to take action and explore the possibilities of traveling there.

Our main objective was to create a brand-based DRTV campaign to sell British Columbia as the ideal tourist destination to the skeptical and media-saturated population of Los Angeles. Specifically, our objectives were to:

• Significantly increase the number of qualified consumers requesting the BC Escapes Guide (the Tourism British Columbia guide).

• Lower the overall cost per lead.

• Build the Tourism British Columbia brand by continuing to showcase the natural beauty of the region.

Strategy: Sell Guide, Not Province

In conjunction with Cossette Communication, Tourism British Columbia's agency of record, Northern Lights created a brand-based DRTV campaign that motivated viewers to call or go online to request the BC Escapes Guide. To accomplish this, we did the following:

• Research confirmed that consumers who requested the BC Escapes Guide were far more likely to visit British Columbia than those who did not. Therefore, we changed the focus of the commercial from promoting the province to promoting the BC Escapes Guide itself - full of "must have" information and exclusive travel deals.

• Increased the length of the commercial from 30 to 60 seconds to have the time to effectively communicate the benefits of British Columbia and the BC Escapes Guide to viewers.

• Enhanced the offer with a chance to win a digital camera and printer - if viewers ordered right NOW! (And they did.)

• To further boost response, the offer was also available only for a limited time.

• Used "FREE," the most powerful word in advertising, throughout the commercial.

• Prominently featured the 800 number and URL throughout the commercial.

• Dramatically improved upon the visuals used in the ad to further the appeal of the Tourism British Columbia brand.

LA Calling

This commercial generated more responses in the first two weeks than the client's previous commercial generated all last year. The call center was overloaded, telephone lines had to be doubled, and additional BC Escapes Guides had to be printed.

The DRTV campaign achieved a response rate that tripled the industry average for DRTV. The objective of 3,200 inquiries was exceeded by over 300 percent. n

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