Nevada's tourism challenge is not boosting Sin City, but Nevada itself. The problem is that most people think the former is the landing strip for the latter. A new campaign by communications firm Burson-Marsteller and BuzzFeed is about changing that perception with a digital road show involving two BuzzFeed editors tooling around the state, reporting on different attractions and general Nevada must-sees.
The effort includes tweets, video and images of such things as Nevada's ghost towns and ski resorts.
Michael Bassik, chair of U.S. digital practice at the agency, says the campaign's limited budget required a rather imaginative approach that wraps interactive ads around the editors' travels. "We looked back at research from TNS that shed light on the effectiveness of their previous online ads." He says the agency found that the effectiveness of their efforts had begun to decrease as time went on.
"We could no longer rely on banner messages alone to determine that an integrated campaign was necessary." That meant partnerships with content providers who would marry content with ad opportunities. "We selected BuzzFeed as a partner because we had envisioned a perfect marriage of paid content and advertising working with a story of Nevada reaching a target that includes younger travelers," he says.
There are a number of other sites but, among them, BuzzFeed is the only one working to produce original content to surround the ad experience, per Bassik.
The ad buy for the interactive portion includes sites like TripAdvisor.com, the Weather Channel and a roster of travel and other Web sites, as well as sites for young children that also cater to moms making travel plans.
"The beauty of BuzzFeed is the percentage of people there who share content elsewhere," says Bassik. "And there are thousands of others who have visited the content and shared that content with their social network. Also, BuzzFeed shared that content on their own social channels."
Burson-Marsteller designed the ads, and Burson-owned Proof Integrated Communications did the digital elements, including interactive banner ads. Bassik says the agency is in talks now to take it to spring and summer. "Ultimately, we measure ad effectiveness based on tourism revenue per ad dollar spent."