The Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau is inviting tourists to return to the area as COVID-19 restrictions lessen and Highway 1 reopens.
The destination along California’s central coast known for spots like Big Sur, Pebble Beach, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea is launching a campaign themed “Now is the Moment.” It is designed to highlight Monterey County’s wide-open spaces and iconic experiences.
The effort, from 62Above, includes a 30-second national TV spot, digital extensions and social media. Creative acknowledges the anticipation prospective travelers might be feeling after having been cooped up for an extended time to the pandemic.
It is the largest campaign Monterey County CVB has launched in the history of the organization to support economic recovery, says Rob O'Keefe, president and CEO at Monterey County CVB. The first phase includes over $1.25 million in paid media.
“Our organization is determined to come back better from the pandemic, and raising awareness and inspiration for Monterey County on a national stage with this campaign is an initial step toward that goal,” O’Keefe tells Marketing Daily. “Like the rest of the world, 2020 was an unprecedented year and our paid marketing efforts were scaled back significantly due to the sudden halt in leisure and business travel, but we knew that this moment would come. Strategic planning and budgeting over the last year has put us in a strong position to launch this campaign in a big way.”
The competition for consumer attention will be fierce for travel destinations in the coming months, and Monterey County CVB is fully invested in creating urgency with prospective visitors ahead of timely dates, including California’s plan to lift most restrictions on June 15, O’Keefe says.
“We have been constantly following the research in the lead up to this campaign, and all sources point to positive signs that people are open to travel inspiration and are starting to plan trips – or even traveling already,” he says. “Most people have spent the past year at home dreaming about where they would travel once vaccines were readily available and COVID-19 restrictions loosened. There is certainly pent-up demand to make up for what was lost in 2020.”