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. This region, which comprises 8 counties and several municipalities, is tied together by the 214 miles of the Dan River.

 

The Challenge:

Our first challenge was to unite the region under one brand, one name. We started with the mantra: “A rising tide lifts all the boats.” Because the cities and towns throughout this region share much of the same natural beauty and tourist attractions, we needed to change the mindset from competition to collaboration.

We started by looking for what connects these places and draws people in—we always came back to the river. The “Dan River Basin” as a name is descriptive, but lacks the charisma of other branded regions such as The Crystal Coast. When we saw that the Dan River weaves in and out of the eight counties, crossing the state border eight times, we found our hook.

The Challenge:

Our first challenge was to unite the region under one brand, one name. We started with the mantra: “A rising tide lifts all the boats.” Because the cities and towns throughout this region share much of the same natural beauty and tourist attractions, we needed to change the mindset from competition to collaboration.

We started by looking for what connects these places and draws people in—we always came back to the river. The “Dan River Basin” as a name is descriptive, but lacks the charisma of other branded regions such as The Crystal Coast. When we saw that the Dan River weaves in and out of the eight counties, crossing the state border eight times, we found our hook.

The Campaign:

Now that we had a name, the Dan River ST8 Crossings, we needed to find the best way to tell the story. We developed a mood board capturing the feeling and atmosphere of the region that would inform the tone of the campaign both visually and verbally.

While developing the campaign, we found a number of words that conveyed the attractions of the area that could also connect back to the name: captiv8, fascin8, navig8, etc. Combined with beautiful photography and videography, these words keyed in on the highlights of visiting the Dan River ST8 Crossings.

 

The media department had their own challenge: the diverse geography and demographics within this region. As our audience ranged from younger, more tech-driven consumers to older residents who might not be as digitally-inclined, we needed a media plan that covered all bases. To start, we designed billboards with high-impact creative located on major highways in and out of the Dan River region.

The media department had their own challenge: the diverse geography and demographics within this region. As our audience ranged from younger, more tech-driven consumers to older residents who might not be as digitally-inclined, we needed a media plan that covered all bases. To start, we designed billboards with high-impact creative located on major highways in and out of the Dan River 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.

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/contextual targeting, our desktop and mobile banner and video ads would be served throughout the region in a precise fashion.

The Results

Even early on, our native desktop and mobile ad campaign saw high click-through rates of 4.69% and video completion rates of 24%, both of which are above native video benchmarks. Over time, the campaign generated significant traffic to the website and the region.

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