ProColombia - the Colombian tourism board
Project: ‘Colombia: the only risk is wanting to stay’ campaign
UK consumer and travel trade press, as well as the UK public at large.
To educate the target audience by raising awareness of Colombia as a tourism destination, showcasing its unique selling points and attractions to a wider audience.
To address and challenge the popular misconception amongst potential visitors that the country is an unsafe destination and with security concerns. This was a crucial factor during its early stage development in the UK market, as the tourist board looked to grow visitor numbers and attract more affluent travellers.
Core activity & Strategy:
For this highly integrated campaign, which was the largest ProColombia had ever undertaken, we utilised a wide set of communication tools, leveraging both traditional and social media as well as outdoor advertising and guerrilla marketing techniques. This helped ensure we were best able to disseminate the campaign slogan and showcase the country’s diverse tourism offering amongst as broad a consumer and travel trade demographic as possible.
Our core activity included producing eye-catching creative based around seven highly visual adverts which showcased the country’s unique selling points, from natural wonders to its culture and history. We then negotiated an excellent deal for our outdoor advertising campaign focussing on the London Underground and prominent billboards both inside and outside the capital.
Another core component of our strategy was our six-week Colombia-themed ‘retail takeover’ of the National Geographic Store in London, featuring prominent ProColombia branding and our new ‘only risk…’ campaign slogan. To maximise consumer awareness and visitation (as well as media exposure) of the takeover we first staged a series of photocalls and interviews with travel trade and consumer media as well as all the key radio stations, conducting a morning Colombia Coffee Drop to encourage presenters to discuss it on-air.
To further leverage the takeover we used the NatGeo store’s colourful displays as the backdrop for a series of eight, packed out media, tour operator and consumer events in which influential guest speakers such as BBC Wildlife expert Nigel Marvin gave personal accounts of their experiences of Colombia.
External activities included organising a salsa dancing-themed flashmob in London’s Westfield shopping mall and targeting commuters in London’s Victoria Station with an experiential activity, using costumed actors to draw in crowds before handing out branded Oyster Card wallets containing marketing collateral, including flyers for the NatGeo installation.
The whole campaign was reinforced by a targeted online advertising campaign and social media activity outlining the latest tourism developments and amplifying the campaign’s key messages. This included managing ProColombia’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as utilising our own media channels and in-house SEO expertise. It was further bolstered by our arranging high-level UK visits from prominent Colombian stakeholders such as the Colombian Vice President.
In addition to securing £450,000 of coverage in a four-week period and raising awareness amongst an impressively diverse consumer demographic (see below) the campaign kick-started a period of sustained tourism growth for Colombia in the UK that continues to this day.
Other, more immediate, results included:
Total Viewings: 124,523,458
Client website: procolombia.co/en
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