A Challenging Landscape
In 2017, Spawn was awarded the Alaska Tourism Industry Association (Travel Alaska) business. Our goal was to promote Alaska as a top destination of choice and secure leads (vacation planner requests). However the state, in a prolonged recession, had slashed its tourism budget, leaving Alaska vying for traveler’s attention against much louder destination brands.
Turning "Someday" Into "Today"
Our research uncovered a significant insight: Alaska, a highly desirable destination, is often perceived as unattainable (distance, enormity). This meant Alaska doesn’t necessarily compete with other destinations — it competes with time.
Past visitors of Alaska referred to the state as a dream trip and noted it could not be compared to any other place on earth. Desire to visit was strong. But for potential travelers, how do you push a bucket list destination to the forefront when Alaska is often put off because of the overwhelming amount of things to see and do?
Exploring Untapped Emotions
In a series of interviews with past Alaska travelers, many described Alaska as “My happy place,” One participant stated “You can leave Alaska but it never leaves you.”
These insights inspired a campaign that leveraged emotional storytelling to convince prospects. Additionally, cultural trends like society’s thirst to unplug, connect with nature, be present and travel like a local were layered into messaging.
A Compelling Campaign
The result was: It’s Waiting, For You, a simple campaign message with imagery that highlighted iconic Alaska landscapes, showed bucket list experiences and extended an invitation to the magnificent state. Sound effects and goosebump-raising scenes took the place of the typical travel voice over. The overall message reminded those who had been postponing their trip that the time to visit was now, and gave them the little push they needed.
The campaign was delivered on budget, through magazine ads with BRCs, digital video ads and social media.