With decades of being located along the Florida Panhandle in an area known as the “Forgotten Coast,” the Mexico Beach CDC wanted to share that it is anything but forgettable. Low-key and simplicity are key elements to its appeal and if there is ever a success story of preservation, Mexico Beach is the poster child. Riding off of the successful “The Unforgettable Coast” campaign, asking the audience to reawaken emotions about the beach town they visited as a child with family, was the fresh marketing approach the CDC and agency decided upon. The “Remember the Time” annual, mixed media campaign was to represent a modernized Mexico Beach brand while ironically thriving off its timeless history. The campaign was to highlight just how simple and beautiful Mexico Beach remains with a nostalgic twist of popular activities that many visitors are known to have experienced. The ultimate objective was to bring more vacationers to the area to benefit the town’s small business owners, hospitality industry and homeowners.
The target audience for Mexico Beach’s “Remember the Time” nostalgia campaign is families and couples who have vacationed in Mexico Beach, Florida, and visitors who are looking to find an unforgettable, quiet beach town experience. This popular vacation destination in the panhandle of Florida thrives on its ability to remain unchanged, yet memorable to all those who frequent the community year after year. A target audience of both old and new visitors was necessary in the campaign to both reawaken beautiful memories, and instill a sense of wanting to belong to that memory. A more specific audience of adults who previously vacationed as children in Mexico Beach with their families were also a targeted.
The “Remember the Time” campaign was implemented, in conjunction with marketing agency, Cornerstone Marketing & Advertising Inc. Together, the CDC and agency developed the concept and inspiration of a brand new website to play off the trademarked moniker “The Unforgettable Coast.” The look of the website is consistent with the modernized brand and was uniquely designed from the ground up with custom coding. Further development of the site was content expansion for the About Us, Weddings, Bird Watching, Fishing, and Watersport Activities pages. The digital and print ad campaigns were designed with creative inspiration from the new website appearance.
A branding photo / video shoot was necessary in the implementation. Every detail was tediously designed to reflect the unhindered, tranquil destination of Mexico Beach. The CDC and agency solicited the expertise of a professional photographer and video production team for the day-long shoot. Two families were selected to model in the shoots and were brought to multiple locations to capture the true essence of the community. Shots of fishing at the local pier, bike riding along the coast, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and playing in the sand were produced and recorded. A script was written and edited by the agency and compiled with the 30-second video for commercial and web advertisements.
To push the campaign aggressively and in an effective manner, media and print buys were made in local, regional and national markets. Print ads we evenly distributed from January through October and included buys with VIE magazine, Official Visit Florida Magazine, Austin Monthly Travel issue, Coastal Living, San Antonio Magazine, Houstonia, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, and Southern Living. A digital Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns increased exposure for the “Remember the Time” campaign and saturated the internet in the spring and during the fall shoulder months. Television campaigns to deploy the “Experience Something Unforgettable” video were made with Beach TV and NCC Media. These outlets were essential in reaching major Texas, Baltimore, Nashville, Memphis and St. Louis visitor markets.
Results of the “Remember the Time” mixed media campaign proved to be right in-line with and exceed the CDC and agency objectives. When it comes to a tourism destination, putting heads-in-beds is the ultimate purpose. Due to the effectiveness of the campaign, Mexico Beach brought in $608,311.74 of revenue in 2015, an increase of $93,876.58 or 18.25% from 2014. With the campaign still ongoing in 2016, Mexico Beach is already seeing a 14% revenue increase year-to-date. The market depends on tourism for its primary source of revenue, implying that this steep increase is directly correlated to the increase in number of visitors to the area.
The custom website development produced substantial results as well. The number of users visiting the website increased from 225,795 to 212,594 or 6.21% in 2015 from 2014. Page views also increased 4.92% from 751,653 to 788,642, and sessions increased 7.73% from 314,030 to 338,305. Another statistic shows that 66.2% of visitors in 2015 were new. The digital campaigns proved to be extremely useful in directing traffic to the Mexico Beach website as 69,195 visitors were acquired from referral or social mediums.
The goal was to refresh the client’s photo library with fun and vibrant family lifestyle photography to be used in the updated branding and advertising campaigns that had been created by Cornerstone Marketing and Advertising in the previous two years.
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