The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, is re-launching the state’s most successful marketing campaign to date: “The 7 Wonders of Oregon.” Introduced last spring, the campaign contributed to nearly 10 percent growth in statewide lodging revenue in 2014 over 2013, according to STR, Inc. What’s more, Travel Oregon’s fan base grew by more than 120,000 and TravelOregon.com experienced a record number of unique visitors during the campaign, giving a new audience a view of all Oregon has to offer in an ongoing and engaging manner.
Starting this week, the 7 Wonders campaign will feature seven iconic natural wonders of Oregon as the focus of destination travel: the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake, the Painted Hills, the Wallowas and Smith Rock. The most comprehensive marketing campaign Travel Oregon has ever produced, the 7 Wonders encourages Oregonians and visitors to experience all seven attractions in their lifetimes.
“When we launched the 7 Wonders campaign last year, our primary objective was to positively impact the state’s economy and job numbers, something we always strive to do in our work at Travel Oregon,” said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO. “In 2013, the tourism industry generated $9.6 billion for Oregon’s economy and directly supported nearly 94,000 jobs. Due to the resounding success of the campaign, we believe we’ll see even greater economic impact for 2014 and in the coming years.”
Following its previous format, the campaign will launch with a 60-second anthem featuring all 7 Wonders of Oregon. The spot will air in cinemas and on television in the key markets of Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Boise, Vancouver B.C. and the United Kingdom – a new market for 2015. Additional 30-second spots will showcase the unique experiences to explore around each individual wonder.
The overall objectives of the 7 Wonders campaign are to inspire people to consider Oregon as a prime travel destination and to encourage exploration throughout the entire state. Visitors are invited to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #traveloregon. The best of these images will be showcased on Travel Oregon content channels (TravelOregon.com, Facebook and Instagram) to inspire others long after the paid media portion of the campaign concludes. In 2014, people tagged more than 86,000 photos with the #traveloregon hashtag.
Travel Oregon’s success with the 7 Wonders campaign has led to economic impact in communities and regions throughout the state. Consumer requests for Visitor Guides and information for every tourism region of the state was up 28-49 percent over 2013, indicating that more potential travelers are acting on their intentions to choose Oregon as their vacation destination in 2014.
According to Shelley Hall, the superintendent of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the monument saw a marked increase in visits. “The numbers for our Painted Hills unit went up 50 percent from 2013 (to 67,457 visits through November 2014), and that’s even with Highway 26 closed for a week in July because of fires,” she said.
At Smith Rock, similar upticks in visitation have been seen. According to the manager of Smith Rock State Park, Scott Brown, the park has averaged a five percent increase in visitation each of the previous five years, but experienced a 14 percent jump in 2014.
Likewise, increases were recorded at Crater Lake National Park. According to Crater Lake park superintendent Craig Ackerman, the park had more than 60,000 additional visitors last year with nearly 585,000 people visiting in 2014, up from 523,027 in 2013.
“This is some of the strongest work for Travel Oregon in our 25-year history of working together,” said Dan Wieden, chairman of Wieden+Kennedy. “What I really like about the creative, aside from how beautiful Oregon looks, is it gives people a checklist of things to see and do.”
Travel Oregon will incorporate new and exciting elements into this year’s 7 Wonders campaign around golf and cycling in April and May, respectively.
How effective are Travel Oregon campaigns? In 2013, prior to the 7 Wonders campaign, Travel Oregon commissioned Longwoods International to conduct an Advertising Accountability study. The Longwoods study showed that for every $1 Travel Oregon invested in advertising in the evaluated markets, $237 was generated in visitor spending and $11 in tax revenue to the benefit of Oregon residents. While the results do not include the 7 Wonders campaign, they do show how effective Travel Oregon’s campaigns have become. Travel Oregon is confident that the results from the 7 Wonders campaign will be more impressive, as this campaign has resonated with visitors and Oregonians alike.
Along with Wieden+Kennedy, Travel Oregon worked with a team of agencies to bring this campaign to life, including LANE, MEDIAmerica, Sparkloft and Substance.
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission improves Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state’s $9.6 billion tourism industry that employs nearly 94,000 Oregonians. www.TravelOregon.com