Georgia has emerged as one of the top domestic destinations with the help of a new multi-million dollar recovery marketing and advertising campaign.
Atlanta’s Blue Sky Agency created and launched “Ready. Set. Georgia.” earlier this year, and the campaign has delivered in a big way.
MORE Destination & Tourism
In the first three months since its launch, Ready. Set. Georgia. spurred 25,000-plus visitors and arrivals to the state, which now ranks fifth nationwide in overnight visitation. Other achievements include a 35 percent visitor engagement rate—15 percent above industry benchmarks—a 2,000-plus percent increase in social engagements and over 3.2 million website sessions, which is an increase of 620 percent.
Blue Sky Creative Director Mariana Costa said the concept was “designed to deliver on research insights that revealed what consumers were craving and looking for,” highlighting unique experiences being had by real people.
“We hoped that our efforts to keep Georgia on their minds and in their hearts over the previous year would make us a priority destination,” EVP Annette Sally told TravelPulse. “We wanted travelers to understand that Georgia had anything and everything they were looking for as they were ready to venture out again. Fabulous outdoor experiences and destinations, as well as vibrant city locations with tons to do. Whatever they were ready for, we wanted Georgia to be the answer. And that happened more than we ever imagined. Consumers came from near and far, more than even pre-COVID travel periods. Travelers to our beautiful state made Georgia jump to the number five destination in the U.S. for overnight travel. We couldn’t have asked for a bigger or better response.”
“Consumer need was the primary driver for everything when we were building our campaign message,” Sally added. “Our planning for this campaign started long before we were running it. We tracked consumer sentiment steadily throughout the year so we knew when, where, and how to appeal to them. Our primary goal was to be ready when consumers were and ‘ready’ was the keyword. Understanding that consumers were ready on all fronts was the creative inspiration for the campaign idea—when they were ready to plan, what kind of travel they wanted to experience, and when they wanted to get out there and go.”
The COVID-19 pandemic presented its fair share of challenges, according to Costa. “We had to think through options that were realistic for our constraints, and we needed an alternative way of developing content. We chose to leverage User Generated Content (UGC) which enabled us to capture ordinary people having extraordinary experiences in Georgia.”
The campaign also prompted a record 40 percent video engagement in July and an average site visit of 1:09, which was up 380 percent compared to the spring.
“The ability to tap into a real moment in time gave this campaign an authentic feel I don’t think we would have been able to capture with models and shot scenarios. We are very proud of this work and our amazing partnership with Georgia Tourism,” Costa said.