Media Placement Case Study

Dan River State Crossings

The Dan River State Crossings is the result of an ongoing effort led by the Dan River Basin Implementation Team, which was formed to bring awareness and pride to the lands united by the Dan River. This region, which comprises 8 counties and several municipalities, is tied together by the 214 miles of the Dan River. It’s home to first-class golf (Primland), large working farms, outdoor adventure (Hanging Rock State Park, among others), and vibrant historic towns.

The Challenge:


One of the biggest challenges for our media placement department would be creating a campaign that spanned the diverse geography and demographics within this region. Touching eight counties between two states, the Dan River State Crossings is a tremendously large and varied area. Our campaign needed to paint with a broad enough brush to reach as much of our target audience as possible without sacrificing a clear, concise message. The region is home to a diverse group of residents, from the urban to rural, young to old, and our media plan needed to reflect that.

The Strategy:

After extensive research helped us nail down our target audience, we set about crafting our game plan. As our audience ranged from younger, more tech-driven consumers to older residents who might not be as digitally-inclined, we needed a media placement plan that covered all bases.

To start, we would design billboards with high-impact creative located on major highways in and out of the Dan River region. These aimed to give the brand and campaign immediate reach, with a consistent, top-of-mind awareness for commuters in the region.

Second, we constructed a robust TV advertising schedule. Because this region fits into 3 separate media markets, we had to consider whether to concentrate on cable versus broadcast placements.

Whereas broadcast had greater overall penetration, cable would allow us to fine-tune where our ads were shown, reaching our audience on shows that mattered (like outdoor-specific shows that resonated with the sportsmen living in the region).

We decided to use cable placements of :30 video spots showcasing the beauty and potential of the region, knowing that we’d reach the largest majority of our target 18-49-year-old demographic this way.

Third, we programmed cutting-edge native video ads for targeted websites popular with our key demographics (who were, in general, heavy internet and mobile device users). Through geographic, demographic, behavioral, and content/contexual targeting, our desktop and mobile banner and video ads would be served throughout the region in a precise fashion.

The Results

While the campaign is still in its early stages, we have already begun to see promising results. Our native desktop and mobile ad campaign has seen high click-through rates of 4.69% and video completion rates of 24%, both of which are above native video benchmarks. The “homepage pushdown” format (in which our video follows the viewer down the page) has driven our strongest click-through rate of 8.67%. In the Roanoke/Lynchburg TV market, our cable schedule reached 80-85% of adults 18-49 who subscribe to cable; our Guilford/Forsyth county schedules reached 50-55%.

Our overall media placement strategy has also helped bolster our social media efforts, currently aimed at driving brand awareness of the region. Since launching the Dan River State Crossings Facebook page in early August, nearly 10% of the page’s 2,700+ Likes were obtained organically, which may very well be due to the awareness generated by our media campaign.


Adults 18-49 who subscribe to cable


Guilford/Forsyth county schedules

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