Visit California targets Australia in $5.6m marketing drive

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 23 January 2017
Visit California

Visit California has launched its latest advertising campaign in Australia as part of a $5.6 million investment in TV, digital and out-of-home brand advertising, PR and other marketing activities.

President and CEO of Visit California, Caroline Beteta, says the campaign is the most California has ever spent in Australia - which is California’s third-largest overseas market by visitor volume.

New to its media mix this year is out of home (OOH) in Melbourne and Sydney. Its OOH offering includes a mix of static and digital/video boards located in rail stations, along roadways and in high traffic pedestrian areas. It does not utilise print or radio for its brand campaign.

When it comes to working out what media channels to roll the campaign out through, Beteta tells AdNews it uses a proprietary research system that provides a single-source measurement of consumers’ interaction and engagement with a broad range of media touch points.

“This localised targeting layer provides enhanced insights on channel consumption and content affinities to allow for optimal effectiveness when developing plans for the Australia market,” she says.

“This research indicates that the Australian target is an affluent, educated audience that seeks to stay informed. These consumers spend the majority of their time using the internet (including mobile), followed by watching TV; other media channels, including newspaper, magazines and radio trail significantly.”

Visit California, which says more than 638,000 Australians are projected to have visited California in 2016 and that is expected to grow more than 3% in 2017, is aiming to maintain strong visitation numbers to the 'Golden State' through the new marketing push.

Spearheading the 2017 campaign will be two new television spots, 'Living The Dream' and 'Kidifornia'.

Living the Dream is now on air in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and features an “all-star cast” of actress Anna Faris, basketball player Magic Johnson; actor and comedian George Lopez; Michelin three-starred chef Corey Lee; world-class skier Jonny Moseley; volleyball Olympian Gabby Reece and husband big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton; and Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson - the first rock climbers to free climb El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park.

“We are excited to see steady year-over-year growth in our Australian visitation numbers, made possible by strong airlift and a growing number of non-stop flights into California,” Beteta says.

“Aussies love California’s diversity of experiences and destinations, choosing to spend time in our vibrant cities, adventure into our abundant natural wonders and everything in between. With this increased investment, we intend to keep California top-of-mind with Australian travellers.”

The 'Kidifornia' spot is running online and highlights “unique California family experiences” as well as an appearance by 16-year-old elite American snowboarder, Chloe Kim, at Mammoth Mountain.

Beteta says both spots continue the tradition of showcasing California’s fun-loving, free-spirited vibe, encouraging Australian visitors of all ages to follow their dreams to California.

The campaign, which is Visit California’s eighth Australian marketing campaign, will run from 23 January to 11 April 2017.

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