In February 2014 Visit California launched their Dream365 Project, an initiative to create inspirational video content on California to bring to life their consumer promise that ‘if you can dream it, you can do it in California”.
Visit California’s dream was to increase awareness of the Dream365 Project and get people to Dream Big. Carat’s dream was more lucid as tangible engagement needed to be demonstrated. This engagement would be the key measurable and was essential to make the campaign stand-out from previous activity and the competition in a fiercely competitive and cluttered market.
Carat was challenged to deepen the connection with California’s experience pillars amongst their target audience and get people engaged with the Dream365 Project.
In the U.K., the long-haul travel market is extremely competitive, with dozens of destinations all vying for the same audience and ensuring that they take their “dream” holiday literally anywhere in the world – with California’s biggest competitors being Australia, Canada, South Africa and also the rest of the United States.
On top of this, all of these destinations use similar media channels to get their messaging across. Prior to the campaign in 2013, the media breakdown of non-European travel destinations was massively focused (71%) on visual inspiration channels: TV, Cinema & Out-of-Home.
Therefore, in 2014, the challenge was two-fold:
• Differentiate the California Tourism Board from their competitors
• Stand out and deliver a campaign that goes beyond the attractive, solely visual 'push' message and create a campaign that delivers tangible engagement & allows people to interact with the brand & its 5 key pillars at the early stages of the consideration process.
Thus - the "Dream Generator" was born.
There were 4 elements which were essential to the success of this brand engagement campaign:
• NATIVE CONTENT
• POSITIONING THE PILLARS
• CREATE A SOCIAL CONVERSATION
• ENGAGE PEOPLE THROUGH A CONVERSATION
Extended content activity with a solus partner would achieve these elements as we could create an extensive content hub – For this we needed the perfect partner!We wanted to partner with a newsbrand as their online content offers a trusted environment.
After a selection process that centred on great ideas with high affinity suppliers that could offer scale against our target audience we collaborated with the guardian.com and created the Dream Generator campaign.
The Dream Generator was created - an interactive tool hosted on the Guardian site that asked users to choose from a selection of pictures to generate an itinerary highlighting what a dream trip to California has to offer them.
A collection of video content to celebrate dreams and dreamers was hosted on site to fuel inspiration and increase engagement.
To amplify the Dream365 Project and deepen relations beyond the inspiration stage, we connected with influential bloggers and challenged them to #Dreambig.
Through collaboration with the Guardian we included a page within the hub that hosted information about the bloggers and linked to their external sites allowing engagement with them and their Californian blogs.
We cemented the Dream Generator and blogger activity through negotiating with the Guardian to include a blogger event within the partnership package The #Dreambigawards was hosted at the Guardian, London with Californian themed food, drink, music. Sharing their dreams granted bloggers entry to the event and they kept their followers informed of the night’s events using social channels.
"The Guardian Dream Generator program provided us with a unique way to engage Guardian users with compelling native content that covered California's diverse offering of experiences. The interactive tool that generated an itinerary based on the selection of California photographs and the corresponding chance to win the dream vacation generated based on the selection was effective at capturing people's attention. We saw nearly 150K interactions and more than 15K entries into the sweepstakes."Traci Ward Director of Consumer Marketing