3 Marketing Strategies for Higher Education

With so many options when it comes to higher education, marketers need to get creative in attracting new students. While view books are still a hit with high school seniors and their parents who are exploring options, marketers in higher ed are embarking on more and more digital strategies to accommodate people of all ages who want quick answers and easy ways to navigate through options. Here are three options we offer our higher ed clients at Jet Marketing.

Get on Instagram

When it comes to providing quick information, social media is where it’s at and with the 35 and under crowd, Instagram is the place to be. Universities and colleges are jumping on Instagram to reach, attract and engage students. They use it to showcase their campus, highlight research and encourage student involvement—all the while providing calls to action with clever hashtags and incentives.

Several universities have Facebook pages for potential students where they post on exciting new programs and opportunities. The sky’s the limit when it comes to boosting enrollment through web, digital and social.

Boost class enrollment with email campaigns

When your college or university launches a new class, degree or program, it’s sometimes hard to get the word out. To boost enrollment, try an email campaign to students. An email marketing campaign involves sending a series of related emails within a set timeframe to current and potential students. They have grabby headlines, lots of graphics and infographics and an easy act now button for students to click on to instantly learn more.

Create a stunning view book or case statement that can also live on your website

College view books make an impact by telling student success stories, using infographics to highlight statistics, and relying heavily on large format pictures that pull the viewer in. Here at Jet, we are experts at making photos pop off the page and make an impact on readers. We are proud to have earned a Service Industry Advertising Award Best of Show on our Power Your Future campaign brochure for Gillette College Foundation.

Your view book can live on the web as a simple flip-able book, or crank it up by adding links to videos that go more in depth with student stories, research successes and faculty superstars.

Need more help? Get started with Jet – we’re experienced in creating digital and print marketing for colleges and universities. With clean design and a talented copywriter on staff, we can be as involved as you need us to be. To get started, reach out to Jackie today – we’re offering a discount on start-up costs for a limited time.


3Lynn Nichols, Content Director

Lynn understands the college search, having just gone through it with her youngest son, Evan. It’s tough having two kids in college at the same time!



What makes an effective healthcare newsletter?

At this point in the marketing game, we all know that content is king, especially when it comes to digital marketing. But healthcare is a unique industry. When you’re dealing with HIPAA and health subjects that can be touchy, how can you provide quality and relevant content to your patients to keep them informed and coming back to your healthcare organization?

Create a newsletter.

Not only are print publications still relevant, they are also an effective way to reach a patient base. But as with all content, it needs to be engaging, interesting, and relevant to your patients. To do that effectively, you’ll need a few elements

Tell a story

First and foremost, people want to read about people. Interviewing patients and getting the story about their health journey is essential to healthcare messaging. Their experiences with your providers and support staff, as well as their descriptions of the quality of their care, are all important to build your brand and instill trust in the readers of your newsletter. A patient story is proof that your claims about your organization are true – that your care is compassionate and effective.

Give a face to your providers

As the main face most patients will come in contact with at your organization, providers need to be approachable. The best way to do that is to humanize them with stories about them and photos of them with patients at work. Their approach to care will be important for patients interested in selecting a provider, and their personality can shine through a newsletter piece specifically about their specialty.

Educate about service lines

What services does your organization offer? Patients might not always be aware of what is available to them, which can lead them to choosing your competition instead. Let them know what you have and how it can benefit them. Specialized articles about particular serv

ices or new technologies shows off your expertise and lets patients know that your organization is up-to-date with the latest methods of care.

To round out the rest of your newsletter, it’s good to keep a few other things in mind:

Contact info – patients need to know where and when they can find you.

Events – what is going on with your organization?

Graphic elements/infographics – enhance your content with some eye catching graphics that are easily digestible and quick to read

Photography – the best kinds of photos are engaging photos with patients, providers, care being given, action. You want to capture your audience’s attention – photography is a great way to do that.

Keep it fresh – update the look every once in a while. Your care is cutting edge – your newsletter needs to reflect that.

With these elements, you can. Need more help? Get started with Jet – we’re experienced in creating healthcare newsletters for organizations of every size. With clean design and a talented copywriter on staff, we can be as involved as you need us to be. To get started, reach out to Jackie today – we’re offering a discount on start-up costs for a limited time.

View some other examples here, here, and here.


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten is a big reader, and used to sneak The Boxcar Children under her desk at school in 3rd grade to read during class.



Custom donor publications still relevant in digital age

You’ve probably been told that printed, custom newsletters or magazines targeted to your donors are old school.  Or maybe your governing board wants to save money and encourages the use of Facebook or e-newsletters as your mode of communication instead. After all, they’re free, so why not?

The first step before creating any marketing materials or custom publications is defining your audience. Who do you want to reach? What action do you want them to take after reading?  Depending on your target audience, Facebook or an e-newsletter might be an appropriate part of your mix but keep in mind that social media is often most popular among young audiences whose pockets might not yet be very deep. If that’s your target audience, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to consider a more traditional mode of delivery, like a donor publication.

The Value of Donor Publications

Donor publications are in fact not dead and if done right, they can provide an ongoing mechanism to:

  • Recognize donor gifts
  • Profile key donors and why they give
  • Recognize sponsors and special event participants
  • Announce upcoming events
  • Educate donors about your organization
  • Supplement your “ask” materials for new donor meetings
  • Tell stories of how donations make a difference in people’s lives
  • Introduce and recognize employees and staff
  • Provide a regular reminder or vehicle to encourage gifts
  • Recognize board members to help with retention and recruitment
  • Provide a sense of community among your donors

 

A current client of ours recently sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of donors. Nearly 75% went unopened. The same client sends out a quarterly custom publication and inevitably gets a good response with remittance envelopes. That’s not to say one is better than the other, but for this client, custom publications are their sweet spot. The downside may be the cost of the investment, but you might find that the return on investment is well worth it.

A past client explains it this way:

“Through our custom donor publication we are able to keep 10,000 of our supporters informed about critical advancements each month.  This continued outreach has recently resulted in a $300,000 gift from a former patient. While this is one of our larger gifts, each quarter many supporters contribute funds ranging from several dollars to thousands of dollars. This outreach effort has resulted in a better informed, more engaged and knowledgeable community, which in turn continually increases their financial support.”

Consider outsourcing for good results

Maybe you have the talent to create a publication in house, maybe not. Oftentimes, newsletters are tacked on to someone’s job. The boss says, “Hey, you’re pretty good with computers, why don’t you be in charge of newsletter?” The end result is often more amateur than professional. It’s not that the staff member has poor intentions; it’s that they already have a primary role in the organization.

Worse yet, if the newsletter looks unprofessional and disorganized, it projects that image of your organization to your donors. The last thing you want is for them to view you as not having things together. After all, they might think, “If they are disorganized and unprofessional, will they be able to handle my money well?”

Maybe your primary organization’s internal marketing or communications staff could help?  Yes, they certainly have the talent; but again, is it their priority to help the foundation’s mission? Usually their

first priority is the key organization and your work falls to the bottom of the list. The quality and timeliness of your publication is the first to be bumped when more important projects present themselves. Then you are back to where you started — a publication that is no longer timely or effective.

It is vital that your custom publication be interesting, relevant, professional, timely and in alignment with your organization’s brand.

To do it right, consider outsourcing to a marketing firm or syndicated publisher. While you could go with the latter to purchase a canned publication, where part of your contract is a customized cover and perhaps interior spread, you’ll sacrifice it feeling “custom” for your audience. For example, you might end up with photos of the Florida coastline when your organization resides in the mountains of Colorado.

A better route would be to hire a marketing firm that can create custom content, produce relevant images, and establish a consistent, professional look-and-feel for your publication on a set (and honored) schedule.  A firm like this is usually very motivated to keep you on task and will provide a turnkey product that has an impact with your donors.

If you’re intrigued, give us a call. Creating custom publications for foundations is something we do regularly, with good results.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Content Manager

Lynn enjoys the challenge of creating custom publications that create results and engage donors. 



5 Tips for Staying on Brand this Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing and you are most likely in the midst of hanging lights and drinking peppermint mochas, but is your brand holiday-ready? As tempting as it is to incorporate every reindeer and snowflake graphic that pops up on Pinterest, it’s important to still maintain your brand recognition. Here are a few guidelines that will help add some cheer while keeping your identity at the forefront:

Keep your logo intact and visible.

Now isn’t the time to replace your mark with a Christmas tree. Or to change your type to a scripty holiday font. Your logo should still be highly visible and unchanged. If you’re feeling really festive and want to incorporate your mark into a holiday theme in some way (i.e. your mark as a snowflake or an ornament on a tree), then go for it. But don’t forgo using your actual logo.

Keep your color palette.

Using all red and green when your colors are purple and gray isn’t going to make anyone recall your brand (unless you are a highly recognizable brand like Starbucks). If you want to add some holiday color, consider adding a luxurious, rich, warm accent color. Something that conjures feelings of warm fireplaces on snowy nights. Or going monochromatic, such as silver or gold, feels very elegant and merry, while being different but not too off-brand.

Tailor your messaging.

Tweaking your tagline or message is a good way to include the holiday spirit. Just make sure to keep it in the same voice as the rest of the year. If you typically have a serious and deliberate tone, now is not the time to be cutesy and humorous. And be sensitive to the fact that the holidays don’t mean “Christmas” for everyone. Keep your holiday marketing more general to the season so as not to alienate your audience.

Keep it fresh.

Consider updating your holiday approach each season. Using the same idea over and over each year can feel dated and tired. Take Starbucks for example. While they are known for their holiday cups, people eagerly await each year to see what the NEW design will be. If they were to parade out the same cup every year there definitely would not be the hype and anticipation that their holiday brand is now known for.

Don’t overdo the cheer.

It’s fun to get in the holiday spirit, but that doesn’t mean it should overtake your brand. Acknowledging the holidays and spreading some joy is absolutely acceptable but make sure that your brand doesn’t get buried in the eggnog and sleigh bells. Keep your message on point and make sure it’s still meeting your business objectives.

The goal is finding the connection between the joy of the season and your own brand. It’s a fleeting time of year that luckily, we get to do all over again next year!


ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin is busy this holiday season trying to help her 3 year old resist the urge to cover every square inch of the house in holiday trinkets. Let’s not even talk about the outside decorations.



Wrangling your reputation when things go awry 

You’ve likely heard of reputation management, or its virtual cousin, online reputation management or ORM. Reputation management aims to limit the amount of damage caused by an unfortunate incident by taking active steps to avoid a foreseeable problem. Or, to cool a situation down once it occurs. The hope, of course, is that your reputation will not sustain lasting damage. And it won’t, if you do it right.

How a business or organization responds to controversy tells a lot about their brand. Think about your business as a person. If you get it wrong, are criticized, or make a public error, do you get defensive and deny it or ignore that it’s happening? Or do you show your human side, and:

  1. Own it
  2. Apologize for it
  3. Tell why it won’t happen again

At Jet, we believe in taking the human approach to rep management. While people might still be upset, they’ll appreciate that you took the high road and owned your mistake and are willing to change, thereby keeping your integrity—and your reputation—intact.

Here’s a real live example of this playing out. Jackie, our beloved leader, recently ordered a dress for a special occasion from Nordstrom Rack. While usually prompt, this time things went wrong. Here’s the email she received. They followed Jet’s 3 rep management steps to a T:

I am truly sorry, Jackie. Why you are seeing what you are seeing is that we are experiencing some delays in our shipping. (1. Own it) I fully understand your pain and frustration with the delay, this was a very embarrassing situation for us to be in. (2. Apologize for it) Because of this embarrassment, we are directing all of our resources to repair the current backlog, as well as make sure that we are planning better for the future. We want to make sure that you will never have to worry about our ability to ship your orders in a timely fashion again. (3. Tell why it won’t happen again)

Our 3 steps apply mostly to errors and problems, so we employ other rep management techniques—such as being up front, honest and inclusive, responding quickly, and softening the blow with good prep work—in other situations.

At Jet, we help our clients with rep management on an ongoing basis. We’ve helped troubleshoot data breaches, cool down public outcry on dollars spent, unify employees around new names and logos, instill confidence after past errors, and prepare neighbors for new development projects.

Here are three examples:

New look, simplified

One of our clients had the same logo and look & feel since they opened in the 80s. Leaders were hesitant to make a change for fear the public or employees of this small town wouldn’t like it or see it as necessary. We helped them succeed by including employees in planning the public open house that unveiled the new look, and by holding a pre-event for employees—with special gifts bearing the new logo—before the public open house began. At the employee event, we included a FAQ on why the new look was needed, how it better reflected who they were today, and how it was paid for out of the general budget. We also included a talking points sheet for employees to use with the public to explain the change. This meant the message would be consistent. By being upfront about the need for the change and softening the blow by including employees in the process, the transition was not only smooth, but fun. Giving out teddy bears to the first 100 kids who came didn’t hurt, either.

Videos pave the way

One of our larger hospitals is located in an area where the economy is down. With many people out of work, it seemed a bad time for the hospital to spend money on renovations, but

they were sorely needed. The patient rooms had not been updated for 30 years and were small, outdated and ill-equipped. At the same time, hospital leaders were receiving feedback from surveys that the hospital spent money unnecessarily. To shift that reputation, and to bring home the need for the renovations, the hospital included patients and employees in the design of the new rooms. We proposed creating videos to run on their website, at events, and also as clips on social media sites that showed employees and patients explaining the need. Doing so created buy in by showing the human side of the project—hearing friends and neighbors tell how the renovations improved care and comfort for patients.

Data breach, bettered

Another client experienced a data breach which became public. We got the call after hours, but we were able to talk through our 3 steps, and provided language to use in response to social media posts—recommending they respond to each and every email received. We also recommended a temporary hotline for people to call and ask questions and talk through concerns.

Hopefully you won’t find yourself in need for rep management anytime soon, but if you do, apply Jet’s 3 steps or give us a call for help.

 

 


3Lynn Nichols, Copywriter, Publication Specialist

Lynn once sent her ‘out of office’ message to everyone on her email list by mistake. She managed this error with a red face, a follow-up apology, a sleepless night and a vow to never set an ‘out of office’ message again.



Brand Personality — Pumpkin-Spiced

 

Every year as summer begins to soften into fall, there are a couple of things I look forward to. The sweater weather, the changing leaves, football season and…Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice latte.

Not only do I love the taste of it, I love the special voice that their marketing team gives the PSL on social media.

Everything from beer, to cereal, to chips and salsa can be pumpkin-flavored, and we can give the credit for pumpkin spiced passion to Starbucks. The PSL was first created in 2003, and has started a pumpkin spice boom every fall season since. From the beginning of September to the end of October (or Pumpkin Spice Season), @TheRealPSL is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with cleverly curated posts. The PSL has been on social media since 2014. Aside from the Frappucino, The PSL is the only drink on Starbucks’ menu that has its own social media account.

Ultimately, the PSL social media is all about creating and sustaining hype for the drink. The PSL accounts are only active in the fall — first, to announce the imminent arrival of the PSL, and thereafter to remind people they can still get it.

As a major part of Starbucks’ sales, the PSL and its social media are essential.

So what makes the PSL social media strategy so effective? Four vital attributes–audience, scarcity, brand personality and creative content.

Audience

Starbucks knows their audience well. PSL customers tend to be somewhat affluent, health-conscious millennials. Reaching their audience effectively means that Starbucks has been able to gain a lot of followers (37k on Instagram, 17.4k on Twitter). Not only do they have a significant number of followers, the PSL generates significant engagement on their posts as well. PSL posts receive 493% more likes per photo than Starbucks’ regular posts.

By using a mixture of photos, videos, and GIFs, the PSL is able to diversify their social media feed and keep it interesting. And @TheRealPSL adds the bonus of responding personally to its followers.

Now you see where I got the good looks & bad eyesight. #FBF

A post shared by Pumpkin Spice Latte (@therealpsl) on

Scarcity

The PSL only comes around once a year for a short amount of time. Starbucks takes the cue of the changing leaves to start creating hype. By using clever, sporadic posts for the PSL social media, Starbucks drives excitement for the PSL and thus the purchase of the beverage.

Brand Personality

Unlike the other social media accounts for Starbucks, The PSL is very much a brand character or persona. The posts are put into PSL’s first person voice. The more PSL posts, the more the audience learns about the character. Even though it’s a product and it’s not around most of the year, the audience is invested in the PSL story, and they grow to love the PSL character. And because the brand has a well-defined, fun personality the content they produce is top-notch.

Creative Content

To go along with brand personality, the PSL social team has created posts that are eye-catching, entertaining, and fun. We learn the PSL goes backpacking, has a pumpkin-cat named Ginger, and other fun details. And the brand is responsive — engaging with fans that want to interact with the beverage on social.

For another example of a company using a branding character, check out New Belgium Brewing Company’s Voodoo Ranger. He’s a relatively new marketing tool for New Belgium, but he’s already the face of four of their beers.

Utilize the PSL social media strategy for your own marketing goals. But be sure to be original — we all know that the copycats aren’t the same as the real thing! Now, who’s thirsty for a PSL?


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten once dressed up as a PSL for Halloween and it’s still her favorite costume to date.



Protecting your Brand against the Unknown

Writing this blog was not on my “to-do” list until news of Hurricane Harvey. Current events spark conversation, so this seemed timely. It is not without sensitivity to those who have lost loved ones or who are dealing with loss of all unimaginable kinds.


The recent events in Houston invoke all types of emotions, by those directly and indirectly affected. For me, the current event was bone chilling because I spent the summer reading 5 Days at Memorial, by Pulitzer Prize author Sheri Fink.

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 11.48.48 AM

The book is a real-life account of the 5 days at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The first half of the book paints the picture of a flooded basement that contained the emergency generator, a helipad that was in disrepair, a lack of electricity, plumbing, food and a lot of patients at various levels of health.

People died. Some on their own, some with the help of physician-directed medication. Healthcare professionals were saddled with a hopeless situation and delivered compassion in the form of dosages of lethal medication as they deemed necessary.

The second half of the book details the litigation that followed those difficult life-ending decisions. Everyone accused was eventually acquitted and the exercise prompted immunity laws that protect workers in an emergency situation today.

The epilogue was maybe the most powerful portion of the book. It reviewed not only disasters in third world countries when medical resources have to be rationed, but also situations like Hurricane Sandy and the Ebola patient at Texas Health in Dallas. It included discussion of ethics and the possible biases of having a limited resource distribution protocol in place. “Fifty patients, six outlets. How do you decide?” — was a quote from the book referring to a real-life situation when all fifty patients needed to be on ventilators.

A thought provoking read and history does, tragically, repeat itself.

What does this have to do with protecting your brand? Nobody can predict a natural disaster, but everyone can make an intentional effort to plan for the worst and practice their crisis plan. The lawyers in 5 Days at Memorial asked hospital executives for their crisis plan — a show of due diligence.

Your communications team needs to be part of the team crafting your crisis plan. Who will talk to the media? Where will press conferences be held? What is the message and talking points? Do you have press release templates and up-to-date media distribution lists?

What are smaller and more likely worst-case scenarios that might affect your business? Maybe it’s a theft, power outage, server failure or more snow than your employees can plow through.

Take some intentional time and brainstorm with your team. Make a list:

  • What could happen?
  • How would we respond to an event?
  • What can we do proactively now to minimize the effects of an event?
  • What is our chain of communication?
  • What/When/How do we inform our customers?

Read about other crisis situations, learn from their successes and failure. Remember Tylenol? Uber? Samsung? Wells Fargo? There are many examples of how the actions of others or actions of your internal staff can damage your brand.

My rule of thumb for a crisis response:

  1. Accept responsibility (not applicable in a natural disaster) — State what happened, clearly and honestly
  2. Apologize — We are very sorry for . . .
  3. Explain how it won’t happen again — new training, education or new processes in place — and set those changes in motion

Brands are an investment, and a good brand reputation can be quickly lost whether it’s the fault of something in your control or not. Nothing brings that home more profoundly than a tragic event. With Harvey on our minds, now is as good a time as any to be prepared.

Sending our prayers for those in Houston.



Swag Stats: Ten Things That Might Surprise You About Promotional Products

IMG_0215
Stylin’ in Jet shades

We all know that marketing has changed significantly over the last few decades. There are certain things that have remained consistently effective when it comes to brand recognition, swag items being one of them. People still like receiving promotional products and especially useful ones. Depending on distribution, it may be more effective to select something of higher cost that the user will value and keep longer, maybe an insulated tumbler. If the goal is to reach a broader audience, go with something less valuable but perhaps just as useful like a pen. Let these statistics* help guide your decision to get the best ROI for your business.

1. 85% of people remember the name of a company that has given them a promotional product

2. Consumers are 2.5x more likely to have a positive impression of promotional products compared to internet advertising.

3. 87% of consumers keep promotional products for over a year.

Here are some examples based on popular branded giveaway categories among US consumers:

4. 50% own a promotional writing instrument.

5. T-shirts are the most popular with consumers over the age of 55

6. 50% own a promotional bag. Among 18-24 year old women, 57% own one.

7. 53% own logoed drinkware, 50% of them use the item 2-3 times per week.

8. 45% own promotional USB Drives, and 91% keep them because they are useful.

9. 29% own branded calendars, and 76% of those consumers have them displayed in their home or office.

10. 50% of consumers own logoed outerwear and 75% of those keep them because they are useful.

Danielle
A Jet mason jar tumbler in action!

It is also important to consider the timing of a product — Think outside to box to gear your goods towards an event or the time of year. Is your audience going back to school? Think USB drives or cord wraps. Are they going to a football game? Maybe a clear tote bag. Do you want to engage your audience in social media posts? Give out something like trendy sunglasses to encourage fun photos. Regardless of the timing — go with a unique, useful and memorable item to make your brand stand out.

The right promotional product is out there for your business. There are endless options, and if you need help finding the perfect fit, we can help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderKatie proudly sports her Jet coffee mug almost everyday. She loves finding the perfect swag items for clients and then seeing them in action!



Every relationship needs an audit.

I recently got out my old bike. It’s a Schwinn, cruiser type, with an old basket and a cute bell.

 

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I expected it to perform like it had every other time I got it out of the garage. Without giving much thought to it, I assumed the tires were full of air, that the brakes would be functional and that the old bell on the handlebars would announce me as I cruised down the trail.

You know how this is going to end.

Without all the details: Tires . . . flat. Valve stem. . .cracked and leaking. Brakes . . . very little. Bell . . . well that was the only bright spot. These discovered defects were over two bike rides on two hot days – of course all my husband’s fault, so now he’s in trouble too.

Was it naïve of me to think that a bike I bought in 2000 for $99 would still be a trusted and reliable friend in 2017? I’ve never had it looked at by a professional. I have added some air to the tires . . . because heck, I don’t ride more than a few times a summer, what could go wrong?

These series of events got me thinking about how not only personal relationships need attention, tune-ups, some love and understanding, but also companies and businesses that use marketing tactics to drive business through the door, to educate, and to create top-of-mind awareness.

Like my bike, you can’t just buy it and let it sit. You can’t put up a website and wipe your hands and say it’s done. Social media and branding need constant attention. Decisions about marketing campaigns, updating the look of your company and even reinventing what it is you do and how you do it – happens over time as a result of constant listening, research and time spent contemplating “what if.”

I’ve been married 35 years. I still have to be reminded to make that extra effort, to be thoughtful, or to suggest a new restaurant.

It would be easier to (buy a bike, create a logo, sign the wedding license) once and be done. But like my bike — a painless audit at the beginning of my bike riding season would save a lot of back and forth to the bike shop, money and blame. I’m not a marriage counselor, but if you need a marketing audit, I can help you there – as long as I can fly or drive to visit with you about it.



The Magic of Good Summer Vacations and Great Vacation Marketing Campaigns

With warmer days upon us, my mind wanders to thoughts of summer vacation–the magic of warm evenings, the sense of freedom, and the adventures it promises to bring.

I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a lesser known beach town in Rhode Island. The author ruminated on his decision to write the article, knowing that his words would attract people to his hidden gem. He wanted to hold that place close, preserve it, and have it be everything he always experienced each time he traveled there. In the end, he figured a few extra tourists wouldn’t spoil the spot he held so sacred. The way he described the feeling of the place, the food, the sunsets, the water, the outdoor showers (who doesn’t love a good outdoor shower after a sunny, sandy day at the beach!), the slow pace, and the sense of family, took me back to my summers as a child. We traveled to the northeast every summer to visit my grandparents who lived in Cape Cod, MA. Those summers fostered some of the best memories of my life. But what is it about those vacations? Is it the place? The experiences? The time with family? The pace? The innocence? Maybe it’s a combination of those things. A good vacation marketing campaign captures all of it.

Travel and vacation destinations are big business. When a marketing campaign does an amazing job at grasping and relaying the sense of time and place, it can stop you in your tracks. One really great campaign that stands out to me is Pure Michigan. The commercials are narrated by Tim Allen and are done in such a way that even the pace of the commercial relays the pace of the place, all in 30 seconds. It doesn’t feel rushed, and the imagery and narrative make you take notice.

Every time a travel commercial comes on the television I find myself stopping to watch, and longing for a vacation, maybe to Michigan! Pure Michigan is by no means a new campaign. It was launched in 2008, but it was so successful they also revamped their logo and website to match the theme, and it has had the legs to stay relevant into the present. It wasn’t simply a one-off summer campaign that was done once the leaves started to change colors!

A more recent campaign that really grabbed me, mostly for its humor, is the Las Vegas “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign. In one of the commercials a woman comes home from Vegas and tells her husband how much fun she had, pulling out her sketchbook to show him her “sketches” instead of photos of all that happened while there. It’s impactful because it’s so appropriate for what we think of Vegas. They never show a single image of Las Vegas. It was the feeling and reputation they captured. Maybe this campaign won’t quite have the staying power of Pure Michigan, but the wit and relevance sure do make it memorable.

 

 

Another campaign with a clever twist, is the new Sweden Airbnb campaign. In Sweden there is a national concept of “freedom to roam” meaning anyone has the right to access, walk, cycle, or camp on any land (with exceptions of private residences, and a few other restrictions). According to the site sweden.withairbnb.com. . . “it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely. To make this home available for everyone, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb.” It’s a revolutionary idea for a country, and it’s causing quite a stir.

 

 

Vacation marketing must convey the magic of a place, and answer the question, “Why go there?” at a deep level for viewers. Marketing can’t create unique vacation experiences, but it sure can help you find the place to make those memories happen.

Maybe it’s the fast times we live in, always rushing from one demand to the next, always tuned in to technology, that makes us long for a slower time, where we can actually take a few breaths and feel the sun on our face and the sand beneath our feet. Vacations provide just that, a respite. So with summer just around the corner, remember to take a moment, or several moments, to pause and recharge. Better yet, take a vacation! Don’t let the days slip by. Grab your family and head to that special summer spot that lets you feel reconnected, and don’t forget to find an outside shower to rinse off your sandy toes.

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin is currently researching her next vacation destination and would love to hear all about your favorite spot!