Episode #001 - Jan Hutton (Gold Coast Tourism), Airbnb in Orlando and 'Stay Wild' for Jackson Hole
Our inaugural episode sees us interviewing the Chief Marketing Officer at Gold Coast Tourism, Jan Hutton, who talks us through the Australian DMO’s bold campaign to reinvent the beachside destination’s brand by focusing on authentic stories told through the eyes of locals. Hutton says the rebrand was driven by the fact that the destination was known for “theme parks and beaches” but that traveller appetites had changed, and they had little appreciation for the breadth of what the Gold Coast had to offer.
Hutton, a former CMO for South African Tourism, says that brand equity for the destination was in decline and “market share was “starting to flatline” prior to the campaign launch in February 2017 “there had been so much development, cultural maturity and an improved food offering on the Gold Coast that we had to elevate our brand story and change the way we talked about the Gold Coast to potential travelers” While exploiting locals and local stories has almost become clichéd, Hutton defends the approach based on the fact that it was a USP for the famously laid-back Gold Coast. “What it came down to for us was... the people. We realised the locals were the product, their warm and engaging personality, and we felt that was something we needed to leverage further,” says Hutton.
She admits that an early mistake was to focus too much on a single audience group - younger couples and young families – and that the brand has since broadened their approach to hit seniors and older families.
Controversially, Hutton says “tourism is dead” and destination marketers need to understand the difference between a tourist and a traveller and unpack the deeper, psychological motivations for travel to succeed.
Also in what is the first of our regular ‘Trend Monitor’ segments looking at big shifts in the industry, co-hosts Andrés Lopez-Varela and Lauren Quaintance, discuss the fact that the great hotel disruptor Airbnb has launched a hotel-like concept in Orlando, Florida. Andrés concludes that the lesson for marketers is to better market the local aspect of their properties including a well-informed concierge, local food available in the hotel restaurant or other ways that guests can better get to know the area.
Finally, in ‘Campaign News’, our regular wrap-up of new and recent travel and tourism campaigns we talk about a ground-breaking TVC from Jackson Hole in Wyoming. The campaign utilises a stirring soliloquy from the 1940 Charlie Chaplin film The Great Dictator to challenge a nature-starved urban audience to “stay wild”. Lauren argues that the campaign is a stand-out that does much to reinvent a tired category and goes to the heart of why we travel rather than relying on clichéd destination images.
Official Destination Gold Coast website
Orlando Will Have the World's First Airbnb-branded Apartments (Video)//Travel + Leisure
Jackson Hole revived Hollywood's most powerful speech for a stirring new tourism campaign//AdWeek
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort website