Episode #009 - David Newman (Visit Seattle), Expedia debunks millennial travel, Dundee VS #GetNZOnTheMap take two
It’s time for episode nine and co-hosts Andrés and Lauren chat to David Newman, Creative Director of Visit Seattle about the destination marketer’s ground-breaking approach to video. Newman tells us how the focus on episodic video content created under the umbrella of Visit Seattle.TV became the “obvious way to go” after observing that video had become the primary mechanism for people to share first person experiences.
Newman says that when the DMO’s marketing team embarked on the approach in 2012 they did so because they realised “it's time for us to stop telling the story of Seattle, but to let others tell their story of Seattle,” he says, “We found that that's much more powerful.”
Partnerships with media houses that provide a distribution vehicle have been critical to the success of the Visit Seattle.TV strategy, according to Newman, as well as the fact that the DMO has focused on creating content that stands alone as entertainment rather than just as a piece of marketing.
“The way I think about it … It’s a teaspoon of sugar with medicine,” he says. “We are delivering something that people want, and we're making sure that it's surrounded by really good nutritional stuff. Regardless of how sweet it tastes, they're still getting the message that we have world class arts, culture, food, wine. We trust that our city is as dynamic and compelling as it is, and we trust that that's going to shine through by just allowing it to do so. We really work hard not to push and ramrod them.”
Newman also has talked about the DMO’s approach to reaching target audiences as being “affinity targeting rather than geo targeting”. In targeting independent minded urban explorers, Newman says they have discovered some surprising geographical pockets of interest. “Geo targeting comes through from who's appearing through that affinity targeting. We discovered that Houston in Texas, which is not what I would think would be a top of mind target market for Seattle, which is very progressive, liberal city, but we've seen a lot of love from there, we did not expect. So, we learned that they love us just through the kinds of things that they're interested in.”
Meanwhile in Trend Monitor, Andrés and Lauren discuss some surprising research from Expedia about Millennial travel habits that suggests the average duration of millennial holidays is 6.2 days and that they are taking 5.6 trips per year. Andrés says the research seems to debunk the usual assumption that Millennials are taking longer trips such as a three month tour of Europe or Africa. Lauren suggests that while Millennials may well value “experiences over things” some are choosing to get a foothold in the paid economy hence taking shorter more regular trips rather than “chucking it all in” to travel.
Last but not least, in Campaign News, Andrés and Lauren have strong opinions on two recently released campaign extensions from Australia and New Zealand’s national DMOs. While Andrés says Tourism Australia’s follow-up to its mega Dundee ad featuring Luke Hemsworth is “well-timed”, Lauren says it’s “moderately funny” but much of the creative potential is killed by what feels like a directive to tick off a list of destinations.
Tourism New Zealand’s follow-up to its viral #GetNZOnTheMap ad starring Rhys Darby and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is “definitely not as structured” as Tourism Australia’s effort according to Andrés, who says that it’s interesting to compare their different approaches.
Following up on the conversation these campaigns started in episode six, “They're both organisations that have done great, interesting, compelling work in the past and continue to do so,” says Andrés. “And they're both tackling a similar problem of relevance and conversion from aspiration to actual visitation in the two opposite ends of the spectrum.”
Episode #006 featuring our first chat about Dundee and #GetNZOnTheMap//The Destinationists
Dundee Movie: Visit The Set//Tourism Australian on YouTube
New Zealand issues ‘new’ world map to #GetNZOnTheMap//Tourism New Zealand on YouTube