Case Study:

“Unlock Your Inner Pirate” Campaign


Tampa Bay is a top destination offering a combination of urban and outdoor experiences, and Visit Tampa Bay wanted to expand their targeting beyond family travelers and attract more millennial visitors. Madden created the “Unlock Your Inner Pirate” campaign to highlight fun experiences young people can have in the destination.


We developed the “Unlock Your Inner Pirate” around key insights into our target audience. We identified key experiences millennials travel to do, including Instagrammable moments like hanging around the pool, drinking and eating, and exciting attractions. We knew to move the needle with advertisements, we needed to focus on these experiences rather than traits of the destination.

We centered our strategy around travel intents — tailoring messaging and imagery around why young adults travel, including drinking by the pool, exploring and taking selfies, eating out, and experiencing action-packed, Instagrammable moments.


We produced videos of young people having fun and experiencing the things they aim to do when on vacation, such as drinking by the pool, exploring and taking selfies in the city, eating out, and doing photo-worthy activities like zip lining. Everything about the video was aligned with this target audience’s interests, down to the background music emulating their well-loved music genres. We deployed these videos across digital and traditional channels, creating different cuts of the videos that highlighted different segments of the target audience.

The main characters in the video were young, energetic, diverse, and embodied the type of traveler we were looking to compel to Visit Tampa Bay.
The high-energy videos showed activities young people enjoy doing on vacation.
Everything about the videos was aligned with this target audience’s interests, including the background music emulating their well-loved music genres.


We worked with local restaurants and bars in Boston, Philadelphia, D.C., Orlando, and Atlanta to hold brand takeover activations. Carefully vetted locations served the clientele the DMO was aiming to reach. In addition to getting these people to interact with the Visit Tampa Bay brand, we geofenced each location and delivered remarketing ads to people who attended. The events also generated organic social media promotion with users attending the events using branded hashtags. This built proof through authentic endorsement of the brand and led to user generated content we could use to compel other travelers.


The Unlock Your Inner Pirate campaign generated positive results for Visit Tampa Bay and helped the DMO break in with younger travelers.