Soak It Up - Hot Springs
What's at the core of the Hot Springs experience? In a word, water.
Consumer sentiment research showed that many would-be travelers felt that they “lost” two years of their life due to the restrictions endured through the pandemic. The imperative to make their next vacation a memorable one was prominent among those planning a trip. Arkansas Tourism needed to respond to their big dreams with adventures that were even bigger.
Source: Image Study by Longwoods International, 2022
Arkansas Tourism understood that people not only wanted, but needed to travel more than ever. While each traveler has different motivations and expectations, the universal thread is that they wanted more from their vacation. More relaxation, more adventure and more fun. CJRW used the campaign theme, “Seek More,” to position Arkansas as the place where all of those things are possible.
During the pandemic, the tone and feel of Arkansas Tourism's campaign was slow paced and relaxing as it communicated an escape from the stress many travelers were enduring. To accurately reflect the returning enthusiasm of potential travelers, the new campaign featured quicker pacing, upbeat music and more imagery. Split-screen techniques were utilized to show more facets of our state and mirror the energy of our potential guests and their optimism about a much-needed vacation.
Adding a layer of complexity to attracting travelers was the huge surge in the cost of travel. The decision was made to incorporate overt messaging that addressed concerns about rising prices head on, positioning Arkansas as a nearby and economical vacation alternative with inexpensive travel opportunities for all traveler types.
During the campaign’s run, Arkansas Tourism set records for incoming travel with continued increases in tourism tax collections. In addition, the campaign received a Gold award in the Hermes Creative Awards.
Following the campaign, consumer research was conducted in partnership with Longwoods International to study the advertising impact on image perceptions of Arkansas. Almost 60% of travelers from eight states saw the ads and strongly agreed that Arkansas is a place they would really enjoy visiting, primarily due to the outdoor recreation and affordability.
The campaign was effective at increasing positive perceptions of Arkansas, with a 14.25-point average increase across all measured attributes compared to travelers who had not seen an ad. Advertising had the greatest positive impact on the following attributes: