Visit Idaho’s “18 Summers” Campaign Wins Prestigious Effie Award

The Effie Awards honor the most effective marketing efforts in North America. The competition is fierce each year, and the most compelling marketing communication case studies are measured by how effectively a marketing challenge was solved, how the message connected with the target audience, and how the results show the campaign worked.

This year, Visit Idaho’s successful travel campaign, 18 Summers, was selected in the Travel & Tourism category at the North American Effie Awards Gala in New York City.

“The Effie Award is the highest honor a marketing campaign can receive for measuring effectiveness, strategic insight and results. It’s very difficult to win because the caliber of competition is so high—the best brands in North America compete for Effies. So to earn one with our friends and partners at Visit Idaho is thrilling because it recognizes the hard work and passion that everyone devoted to making this effort succeed.” – John Drake, Chief Strategy Officer

Travel & Tourism: Visit Idaho’s 18 Summers

The 18 Summers campaign centers around how summer vacations bring families closer together, and more importantly, make lasting memories that stand the test of time. We wanted to change the way average Americans, and families, in particular, viewed vacation. We set out to create awareness around one simple truth: 18 summers are all we have with our kids while they’re still kids.

18 Summers highlighted US Travel’s Project Time Off Initiative by shedding light on how American workers are overwhelmed. “For decades, Americans took advantage of the time off they had earned but, unfortunately, times have changed. Americans are taking the least amount of vacation in nearly 40 years… The growing stockpile of unused paid leave is contributing to worker burnout and even larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affect a company’s bottom line.” – Project Time Off

Idaho Tourism | 18 Summers Case Study from Drake Cooper on Vimeo.

The 18 Summers campaign is a “docu-memory” series that features real families sharing stories and experiences from their most precious time together: summer vacation. The campaign features an integrated rollout of online and social media, and for the first time, running TV spots on regional broadcast stations in surrounding markets.

“Every idea aspires to be great, to be relevant and memorable. We focused a lot of energy at the beginning of the creative process getting to a solid human insight; then we built every campaign touch point around that singular insight. We set out to create something that connected Idaho and summer adventures with families on a truly human level. We wanted the experience to be positive, heartfelt and inspire the desire to make more memories.”  -Jennie Myers, VP, Executive Creative Director

In addition to the family-focused docu-memory series, was created to make adventure attainable with online giveaways, an intuitive adventure planner, and an integrated media plan. The campaign ran the entirety of summer 2015, and the effects were immediately recognizable. The state of Idaho saw an 8% increase in lodging collections, the site featured over 197,000 total entries, had over 250,000 visits, and won Best in Show for District XI at the American Advertising Awards.

What’s next for 18 Summers?

At the end of the day, we’re extremely fortunate to work in a creative industry that allows us to share such beautiful stories, to work with ambitious partners such as Visit Idaho, and create innovative ways to connect better with consumers. As always with creative work, we are never truly done – together with Visit Idaho, we will keep reaching, knowing that our best is yet to come.

We are honored to be the in the company of other notable brand efforts at this year’s Effies, such as Apple’s iPhone 6 World Gallery, Target’s #MoreMusic, CVS Health’s Cigarettes Out, Health In, Gatorade’s Made in New York and Subaru’s A Love Story.

To view Visit Idaho’s Effie Award click here. To download the full list of winners from this year’s North American Effie Awards click here.

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