This has been the third round of award shows for 2016 and we can barely begin to express how thankful we are for such a successful year. Starting with the local Rockie Awards, to the esteemed Effies, we were off to a great year. Earlier this month, our team returned from the Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) with fresh smiles on their faces and new trophies in hand.
What is ESTO?
The Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations is an annual forum specifically for the world’s leading destination marketing professionals. Connecting us with others around the country, ESTO is a two-day conference of networking events, national speakers, and breakout sessions. The highlight of ESTO is the closing dinner and awards show, where states are recognized for marketing excellence with the National Council of State Tourism Directors Mercury Awards and cities with the Destinations Council Destiny Awards. In partnership with Idaho Division of Tourism, we submitted 18 Summers, and Vitamin ID for judging.
18 Summers and Vitamin ID
2016 was a huge year for Idaho Division of Tourism’s 18 Summers. After such a successful season in 2014, the campaign was brought back for another run. With stronger insights, more creative, and a larger media plan, 18 Summers was poised for success. The primary campaign, winner of a 2016 Effie Award, spoke to the hearts of young families in the Northwest, showcasing the beauty and close proximity of Idaho with the philosophy that there are only 18 summers parents have with their kids before they move on to support a life on their own. Studies have shown that many of our greatest childhood memories revolve around the joy and freedom of a summer family vacation, and 18 Summers taps into that desire for togetherness and family adventure.
Furthermore, Idaho Division of Tourism tasked us with executing a rapid, guerilla campaign during January of 2016. As a refresh to the successful winter 2015 campaign, Vitamin ID was brought to the city streets of Seattle.
Idaho winters are almost a perfect contrast to the dark, dreary, and wet winters of the Pacific Northwest. To cure the Seattle-ites of their winter woes, we delivered Idaho’s sunny disposition and bluebird days. In a 24-hour blitz, we distributed over 2,000 Idaho sunshine themed umbrellas to Seattle commuters. Along with 3,000 free Uber rides, courtesy of Idaho sunshine, we partnered with local influencers to give away 35 winter vacation packages to several of Idaho’s sunniest ski resorts. All of this paired with local and digital media led to one of our most effective guerilla campaigns yet.
Together, 18 Summers and Vitamin ID beautifully represent the hearts of Idaho’s summer and winter experiences.
With this work submitted for 2016, we won two National Council of State Tourism Directors Mercury Awards. Of the 12 awards available in this category, we were honored to take home trophies for the Best Digital Campaign (18 Summers), and Best Co-Op Marketing (Vitamin ID). The Mercury Awards are awarded to those who represent excellence, creative accomplishment, outstanding work, and imaginative marketing for state destination campaigns.
Each year, tourism and travel departments from around the country enter their work to be recognized at the national scale. Even more challenging, Idaho has also been known for having a smaller marketing budget compared to many of our neighboring states and those with more robust tourism industries. For Idaho to accomplish what we have done, and be nationally recognized alongside states like Oregon and Utah is a spectacular achievement. A full list of the awards given and the teams involved can be found on ESTO’s website.
For the Ambitious
It is these moments that remind us why we are for the ambitious. When we get to create great work with great partners, incredible things happen. With each and every campaign, we strive for exceptional results, and every so often, that also brings a new award to our trophy case.
Congratulations to our entire team who tirelessly worked together, bringing these two campaigns to life. We are so proud to be representing our home state of Idaho in such a fun and creative fashion.