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VisitCalifornia has launched a new interactive marketing campaign that hinges on a series of exclusive videos.
The "Dream365 Project" was launched at midnight EST with a complete takeover of the YouTube homepage. The destination will release one video per hour - so 24 videos in 24 hours - with each taking over the YouTube homepage for that day-long time period.
The core idea is "24 Hours, 24 Dreams," where each video showcases a dream fulfilled in the state of California.
Part inbound marketing exercise, part brand building and part confirmation of exceptionalism for current residents, the series is heavy on selling the brand "California."
The videos are the next step in the "Dream Big" marketing campaign that has been making the rounds on television, playing up the reputation/stereotype of California as a West Coast haven for dreamers.
VisitCalifornia's digital branding extravaganza will be featured across four key geographies: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, and is poised to deliver 135.4 million impressions during the duration of the campaign.
Click the video icon on the above left to see the promo for the advertising side of this story, and click below to watch the embedded promo teaser for more on the overarching themes to be promoted within the video series.
The campaign continues the #dreambig of the most recent marketing, and is supported with a landing page that feeds visitors into a tool to book travel to California, in addition to more information about the mammoth marketing effort.
VisitCalifornia has released a teaser of some of the videos, which include a star-studded lineup of world premiere videos from Band of Horses, Bob Burnquist, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, SoulPancake, and David Garibaldi.
By tying California's creative community to the promotion, VisitCalifornia is widening the appeal of the promotion not just to potential visitors but also all fans of these particular well-known names. The potential virality of the campaign is thus multiplied, offering multiple touchpoints with a variety of communities that will engage with - and be more likely motivated to share - the videos.
The lineup shows the focus on many aspects of the California brand: food, art, music, sports and outdoor activities all feature prominently; teaser videos follow below.
Tnooz asked Rob Torres, Industry Director of Travel for Google, about the VisitCalifornia promotion.
Has this sort of travel promotion ever been done before on YouTube?
We’ve seen a lot of creative uses of the YouTube masthead before, but Visit California’s approach is certainly unique, not just for travel marketers but for marketers overall. Not only are they delivering new content every hour for 24 hours in the masthead, they’re doing it across devices (desktop and mobile) and across multiple markets.
Beyond YouTube, they’re also leveraging Lightbox ads across the Google Display Network. It’s great to see a travel destination implementing a comprehensive brand-building strategy designed to reach travel consumers where they are spending much of their time - online.
What makes YouTube a unique platform for this?
YouTube gives marketers the best brand-building platform. It reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network, and enables brands to build stories that people choose to watch. Video - sight, sound and motion - can be a powerful tool to connect with, inspire, and delight consumers. Travelers are increasingly relying on online video as they research, plan and book travel, and YouTube is a great platform for brands to connect with those consumers.
How does the Dream365 campaign fit into Google Travel's goals?
My team works with travel brands across the spectrum on helping them understand and take advantage of the digital marketing opportunities on Google and YouTube. This campaign is really about Visit California’s goals, and it’s exciting to seem them embrace the opportunities of online video and digital to achieve them.
Given your experience and title, what are the ways that video functions in travel? How can other brands learn from this campaign?
Our 2013 Traveler research revealed that online videos are a key resource for consumers while researching, planning and booking travel. And consumers are engaging with all types of travel videos: professional and amateur reviews, videos made by travel providers, ads from travel brands, and videos from friends and family. These videos have real impact, with nearly 60% of leisure travelers reporting that an online video has influenced where they have decided to travel.
It’s important for brands to understand, as Visit California has, the growing importance of online video and the opportunities in digital overall. Consumers are spending more and more time online, and less time in front of traditional media, and travel marketers need to develop strategies to reach and connect with these consumers where they are spending their time.
Finally, what is Google Travel doing to encourage more multimedia innovation and engagement in the travel space?
Last March, Visit California came to the Google BrandLab looking for a fresh approach to building their brand and very interested in the opportunities in digital. It’s wonderful to see how they’ve applied that experience to developing this exciting campaign. Whether it’s on a day to day basis or at the Google BrandLab, we’re continually working with travel brands on helping them understand the possibilities of the web and developing digital strategies that are the right fit for them.
SoulPancake's Dream Tree
This video features the Dream Tree art installation created by SoulPancake in San Diego as part of the promotion. This video is not just a teaser, but offers up the full shebang by encapsulating the core message of dreaming big and taking the time to have big dreams. Of course, with the implied conclusion being to make those dreams a reality in California! Nonetheless, it's an appealing message that engages at a more fundamental level as far as inspirational travel marketing - a smart move all around.
Dream 3: Los Angeles' Ludo Lefebvre, known for his pop-up dining
Dream 5: Puppy love
Dream 5: Richie Tripple and his 15-foot "Stupid Cycle"
Dream 21: David Garibaldi's art
Dream 22: The Big Top festival
Keep an eye on the YouTube homepage over the next 24 hours to see the new video each hour. This campaign has taken a unique approach to branding an entire destination via a drip arelease method of videos promoting the core message. This content then offers up a long shelf life post-24 hour rollout, as each video can be seeded in marketing materials, and placed at the center of a specific type of inbound traveler to California.
Full videos will be available on VisitCalifornia's YouTube channel.