Following a record-breaking year of consumer spending and visitation in 2014, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) is launching a national integrated marketing campaign to drive more people to “Follow Your NOLA” by showcasing the city as a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. The new campaign, created in partnership with agency 360i, builds on NOTMC’s ongoing marketing initiative to elevate how the city is sharing NOLA stories using TV, radio, influencer marketing, mobile and live events to attract travelers.
Follow Your NOLA.com compass, an integral part of the NOTMC campaign.
The campaign invites consumers to explore the endless possibilities within the city’s rich culture, cuisine, music, museums and family-friendly activities. It features three new TV ads showcasing three different sides of New Orleans to reveal how each person’s visit to the city is unique. Also featured is a new mobile-friendly FollowYourNola.com website, which guides consumers on a personally customized exploration of NOLA.
“New Orleans has experienced a cultural and business renaissance, and 2014 hosted the most travelers in any year since Hurricane Katrina,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). “This new campaign highlights that New Orleans is truly like no place else – each person’s NOLA is defined by personal discoveries across every neighborhood. It’s about the cuisine, the music, the art and architecture, the warm locals, and a one of a kind spirit of hospitality. The city’s culture is unmatched.”
The campaign leverages digital as a hub and is supported by broader, mass reach channels. It will roll out nationwide throughout the year, and includes:
- TV/Video: By using the same script with characters having diverse experiences, the series of three new TV spots showcase NOLA as a place of endless discovery year-round that is different for everyone. The ads will appear sequentially on leading TV and Digital networks in 35 target markets, identified using digital data, and will be distributed digitally via Facebook. Campaign spots here. The videos are directed by Henry Mason, and produced by Chelsea Pictures with an original score by soundtrack composer/musician David Torkanowsky and renowned NOLA musicians.
- Enhanced Mobile Website: On mobile, followyournola.com will feature curated itineraries for each of the TV ads, celebrity itineraries created by icons like travel guide Anthony Bourdain, chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh, and an interactive map that helps travelers plan their trip and navigate the city.
- Social Media Influencers: NOTMC is engaging influencers to create personal ideal New Orleans trips and share experiences in real-time across Instagram, YouTube and personal blogs. One example is Benji and Judy of itsJudysLife.
- Event Partnerships: NOTMC is partnering with The James Beard Foundation for its “Taste of America” series, taking place in nine domestic cities including New Orleans from September 18 – October 24. Disney will host a family trip sweepstakes June 1 – August 23 and social campaign showcasing NOLA through “The Princess and the Frog” locations featured in the animated film. Universal Music Group will hold two sweepstakes June 15 – August 14 and August 15 – November 15 for the chance to win a trip to a music festival in NOLA. The promotion will feature custom content from a series of musical talents and NOLA advocates including Trombone Shorty, Terence Blanchard and more.
- Targeted Digital and Mobile Ads: Direct advertising will serve relevant branded content to trip-seekers, to keep New Orleans top-of-mind through consideration and booking, including at museums, music venues, food festivals and more. NOTMC is also placing native advertising through national outlets to showcase NOLA’s cuisine, art, and music traditions and broaden its cultural appeal.
- Radio: NOTMC is leveraging radio as another touch point to spur a trip to NOLA, targeting select markets within driving distance.
“’Follow Your NOLA’ has always been about the fact that New Orleans has an incredible range of experiences and attractions for people of all mindsets and interests. The task was to bring this to life in a way that lives up to the beauty and creative spirit of the city itself,” said Pierre Lipton, Chief Creative Officer at 360i. “The result is a truly integrated effort with digital at the core. The TV executions speak to the visitors interests, mined through social listening; the mobile site showcases itineraries featured in the spots; social influencers bring personal NOLA trips to life online; display and mobile ads target the right people at the right time; and the events bring the NOLA experience to life across the country.”
Since the initial launch of “Follow Your NOLA” by NOTMC, and ad agency 360i in 2012, New Orleans has experienced tremendous growth in tourism, helping to create jobs and economic impact, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. In 2014, nearly 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, more than 9.52 million visitors came to NOLA, spending nearly $7 billion – a record for the iconic American city. For 2015, New Orleans has been named a top travel destination by Travel+Leisure, National Geographic Traveler and TripAdvisor.