Nevada Telling Adventure Tourists It's More Than VegasNevada targets adventure travelers in an Internet effort this week through dialogues by Nevada representatives in chat rooms, message boards and via instant messenger.
Consumers will be urged to give Nevada a shot for activities like water sports, biking, hiking and skiing.
"There's really one big challenge for Nevada, and that is Nevada is perceived primarily as Las Vegas and as a desert," said David Reis, CEO of DEI Worldwide Inc., a Los Angeles specialist in interactive product placement handling the effort for the Nevada Commission on Tourism and its Reno-based ad agency, R&R Partners.
"The truth is that they have quite a lot of terrain that isn't desert," he said. "So what they're trying to do is break out of the mold that Nevada is Las Vegas and that Las Vegas is Nevada, and Nevada itself is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary and an adventure sports destination."
Reis said the state has its eyes on the 93 million adventure travelers nationwide, many of whom meet online to exchange ideas and experiences.
"The drive will be national, but we know that the West Coast is home to a huge number of those adventure sports enthusiasts," he said. "We expect the West Coast and California to find adventure sports in their own back yard right here in Nevada."
About 10 representatives -- adventure sports enthusiasts themselves -- from DEI will frequent chat rooms and message boards to generate brand awareness and buzz. Announcing their intention, they will participate in online conversations, either in the public areas or one-to-one via instant messenger, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
Among areas planned for such visits are chat rooms for fans of reality television shows such as "The Amazing Race," races like the Eco Challenge, extremesports.com, adventuretime.com and adventuresports.com.
DEI reps also will haunt communities where skiing, biking, off-road and skydiving enthusiasts congregate. The agency will drop in on such conversations, also called Internet product placements, for a month.
"We'll have as much as a 10-minute conversation with a group of people, sort of talking to them about what's going on ... our job is not to sell a trip to Nevada. Our job is to let adventure enthusiasts know that when they're planning their next adventure trip, they should consider Nevada," Reis said.
Nevada has prepared message points for DEI reps. Publicizing the state's rugged terrain is one of them.
People who plan to visit Las Vegas may be asked to spend a few more days adventure traveling. They will learn that Nevada has 314 mountain ranges, more than any other state, plus canyons, trails, cliffs, sand dunes and public lands.
Chat room and message board participants initially will be urged to visit a new adventure section on www.travelnevada.com for more information. Reps also will tout a new Nevada adventure print guide, "The Dirt," available for free on the site.
"As we work on a campaign, we'll continue to redefine it," Reis said. "We'll go after other sites that we don't even know are out there."
The effort supports the Nevada Commission on Tourism's "Nevada. Bring it on" campaign that began earlier this year. Print ads, the Web site and the adventure guide are other elements.
The campaign might be fine-tuned based on feedback from DEI's online touting. DEI has done similar work for clients like Hershey Foods, Sony Electronics USA and American Isuzu Motors.
"What we do is we take that idea and we go back to Nevada and say, 'Hey, here's what we found. We talked to over 100,000 people over this last month,'" Reis said, "so that when they do their further marketing, they're in a much better position to know what their exact target demographic is going to be interested in."