‘There’s Still Adventure Out There’ Campaign to Target Northern Virginia Visitor Market
Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) unveiled its spring 2023 strategic marketing campaign on Tuesday, March 21 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. The 8-week campaign, running April through June, will target the Northern Virginia area of the Washington, D.C. DMA (designated market area) – a key feeder market for the destination. This is the first time the destination marketing organization has implemented a comprehensive, completely in-house campaign.
Visit VBR will target individuals that live in the Northern Virginia area of the Washington, D.C. metro who display interests in travel, outdoor recreation and road trips. Overall, the campaign aims to build brand awareness for Virginia’s Blue Ridge as a vacation destination and showcase the rich opportunities for outdoor recreation that sets the region apart as a unique, “metro mountain” destination.
It will also position Virginia’s Blue Ridge as an accessible and convenient vacation destination for travelers from the Northern Virginia and greater DMV area, offering close proximity via Interstate 81, passenger train service via Amtrak, and direct air service via Dulles International Airport.
The campaign has been reviewed and approved by Visit VBR’s Marketing Advisory Council, a group made up of critical stakeholders and expert marketing minds. “We were impressed by the thoroughness and creativity of this strategic marketing plan and designs that were created entirely in-house by Visit VBR’s marketing team,” stated David Robertson, Chair of the Marketing Advisory Council.
Through both out-of-home and digital advertising, Visit VBR will educate the Northern Virginia audience about specific locations and experiences in VBR to provide context of where the destination is located and why it is worth visiting.
The advertising package will include 4-week takeovers of the Dulles & Ashburn Metro Stations, two key stops along the new Silver Line train that connects the Dulles International Airport to Washington, D.C.; as well as branded displays on DC Metro buses, metro stations, and materials that will display on mobile devices.
Campaign-specific messaging will also be promoted through advertising with paid social/digital, Spotify, YouTube, and Connected TV along with a series of targeted marketing e-mails deployed to one-million prospective visitors in the Northern Virginia market.
Visit VBR will also utilize spaces in the Northern Virginia/D.C. market to host special functions and events that reach key target audiences. This will include group bike rides with local cycling organizations, socials with alumni organizations connected to universities within the VBR footprint, media activations targeting key publications & travel writers, and connecting with in-market meeting and sports planners.
Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, shared his excitement for the campaign, “This brand awareness campaign is the first of many future campaigns and an increased presence in this crucial market. We look forward to seeing increases in visitation and visitor spending from the Washington, D.C. metro area as a result of this initiative.”