Out-of-Home Activations: New Ways to Do Destination Marketing

Want to get back into experiential marketing now that more people are comfortable with in-person events? Madden works with our partners to create destination marketing campaigns that include engaging out-of-home activations. 

As part of a holistic, integrated marketing strategy, DMOs should identify out-of-home activations and events to help move their brand forward. By meeting your target travelers where they are, identifying ways to reinforce your brand pillars, and adopting the audience’s culture, destinations can create an atmosphere of engagement that people remember. 

Here are some examples of how Madden is activating unique out-of-home experiences with our destination partners. 

Meet Your Target Audience Where They Are

Visit Tampa Bay set out to develop a campaign that compelled adults between 20-30 years old to visit the destination. As part of the “Unlock Your Inner Pirate” campaign, Madden worked with local restaurants and bars in Visit Tampa Bay’s key fly markets to hold brand takeover activations. 

Visit Tampa Bay branded signage, including neon lettering and selfie backdrops adorned each location. The bars also had beers from independent Tampa, FL breweries on tap to showcase one of the destination’s top experiences, the city being home to numerous craft beers

These brand takeovers of bars and restaurants were a great way to reach adults 20-30 in Visit Tampa Bay’s key fly markets. 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 ran geofencing on each location and delivered remarketing ads to people who attended the event. 

Find out how Madden created video assets to promote the “Unlock Your Inner Pirate” campaign.

Reinforce Your Brand Pillars

We recently rebranded Willamette Valley Visitors Association. Previously, the destination’s brand was defined and known for its wine. However, the new brand highlights additional brand pillars such as agritourism, natural resources, outdoor recreation, and artisan-made products. 

To help launch their new brand, we developed an omnichannel media plan for Willamette Valley to showcase their new identity and spread awareness of all of the great experiences the destination offers. Part of this media plan was out-of-home advertising in strategically identified locations that aligned with the new brand to ensure the ads had the highest impact. 

In Seattle, one of Willamette Valley’s top drive markets, we hosted a booth at a local farmer’s market. The booth was decorated with a panoramic backdrop of Willamette Valley branding and illustrations and featured samples from the top artisanal, independent food shop partners in the destination. Additionally, we placed a Willamette Valley billboard near the farmer’s market — visible to passersby and market attendees. Geofencing was established around the farmer’s market and billboard as well to create a remarketing pool of people who encountered each.

Advertising at and near the Seattle farmer’s market provided a great opportunity to raise awareness of the Willamette Valley brand in a key drive market. The nature of the event also enabled the brand to reinforce its brand pillars, such as agritourism and artisanal shops. The event drew people whose interests likely overlap with Willamette Valley’s destination offerings. 

Adopt Audience Culture

Visit Independence has sponsored an Independence Day at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, for the past few years. The stadium being only a 15-mile drive from the destination, the sponsorship provided a great opportunity to spread awareness of nearby attractions, lodging, and dining to the fans. 

This year, Madden and Visit Independence wanted to make a bigger impact following the pandemic that prevented fans from attending Kauffman Stadium. Previous sponsorships included signage and a booth, but this year Madden worked with Visit Independence to create packs of 12 custom baseball cards, each spotlighting an Independence experience.

The Independence cards emulated vintage baseball cards, with a picture on one side and stats and description on the other. The cards also included a custom URL for a Visit Independence landing page that gave more information about the destination’s experiences. 

The strategic giveaway resonated with people attending Kauffman Stadium’s Independence Day event. The 1960s baseball trading card design would be familiar to fans attending the Royals game, strongly resonating with baseball fans at the game and would be engaging to read during the long idle periods between innings. This is a great example of integrating a target audience’s culture into marketing communications to create memorable moments rather than using traditional marketing collateral in a non-traditional setting.

See how Madden worked with Visit Independence to create unique destination marketing assets.

Part of an Integrated Strategy

Out-of-home activations are great ways to engage with target audiences and strengthen a destination’s brand. However, these tactics are only part of a truly integrated marketing strategy. Your website must have a landing page to direct activation attendees towards for more information. You should have digital marketing tactics in place for geofencing activations to remarket to the people who interacted with your experiential marketing. Additionally, activations lend themselves to media pitches and potential earned media opportunities. Madden specializes in putting all these pieces together and developing omnichannel media plans as part of integrated marketing campaigns. We’re standing by to bring your destination’s experiential marketing to life and fold it into your larger campaigns.

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