North Lake Tahoe Offers 'Real Summer'

In its first-ever TV advertising outside the relatively nearby San Francisco DMA, the North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative is targeting San Diego.

The campaign was created by San Francisco-based School of Thought.

It is important for destinations to diversify their market base, said Andy Chapman, chief marketing officer, North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative.

“The north California/Bay Area will always be an important part of our visitor mix, but San Diego and the entire Southern California marketplace is a primary destination market for our efforts,” Chapman says.

The biggest challenge is the world-class outdoor recreation that San Diegans already have at their doorstep.

“San Diego is a great market for North Lake Tahoe,” Chapman tells Marketing Daily. “San Diegans are very much into the outdoors and recreation is an important part of their daily lives.”



Three understated 30-second TV spots let the scenery be the star. One commercial opens to close-up visuals of a sandy beach and stand-up paddleboards. Another shows mountain bikes zipping through a challenging off-road course. A third shows the simple joy of jumping off a dock.

The spots quickly segue to what Lake Tahoe has that San Diego does not: Wide-open, uncrowded space. The tagline is “Another reason to make it a real summer.” The effort targets ages 25–55 “unplugged”-type adventure seekers.

“One of the challenges we have when promoting North Lake Tahoe to San Diegans is the abundance of other vacation options available to them,” Chapman says. “From staycations on their local beaches to quick getaways up the coast. However, there is a great affinity between San Diegans and the Lake Tahoe region from both a summer and winter perspective.”

The production schedule was difficult. As a public/private entity, the North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative’s budgets are not determined until late June. Summer advertising needs to begin in July. The entire campaign was done in 7 days, from location scouting to three final spots, with the agency doubling as production company.

The spots will run during prime time on 17 cable networks including Discovery, Travel Channel, CW, Food Network, Bravo, both as 30-second spots and as 15-second cut-downs. An additional radio spot will air on Top 40, classic rock, and variety format Clear Channel stations. (All San Diego DMA only.)

The North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative, based in Tahoe City, Calif., is a marketing partnership between the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau, designed to promote the entire North Lake Tahoe region, California and Nevada, under one advertising umbrella.

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