RI Tourism Breaks New Advertising Campaign Into “Fun-Sized”

Thursday, February 01, 2018


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New tourism campaign

Commerce RI has launched a new ad campaign promoting RI tourism. The 16 video campaign highlights the Rhode Island experience and all of the ads end with the tagline "Fun-Sized."

The new videos look to put an end to the tourism embarrassment called “Cooler and Warmer” -- the ad campaign that was a national embarrassment and a waste of millions of dollars for Rhode Island.


The new campaign was produced to attract visitors to the RI destination. "Tourism is the fifth-largest industry in the state, reaching $6 billion in 2015 and supporting more than 80,000 jobs. The tourism landscape is competitive, and it’s important we’re marketing the state as a great place to visit,” said Lara Salamano, Chief Marketing Officer for RI.

Salamano is scheduled to appear on GoLocal LIVE on the 4 p.m. hour on Thursday.

The video campaign was produced by Providence-based Nail Communications. The cost of the production of the ads were  $225,000, and the production of these ads "came out of the year-long contract we signed with Nail in March of 2017. The value of the contract is up to $978,000,” said Salamano.

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On the roof in downtown Providence

Target Audience

The ads are designed to appeal to millennials and Gen X visitors - those with purportedly more disposable income.

“Through our research, we found the state was under-performing in attracting millennials and younger Gen X visitors (28-40 years old) as compared to our neighboring states. We know this audience is very interested in travel, taking 3-4 trips a year,” said Salamano. “We know they want to try new things and see unique places, so we sought to showcase the various activities and regions throughout our state --Rhode Island as a manageable and exciting destination. We know Rhode Island is small, and we remember fondly the old “Biggest Little State in the Union” ads, but since then, we haven’t articulated why small is a benefit to tourists in a compelling way. We feel these ads do that.”

Geographical Targets

The new campaign is targeting both those a car-drive distance away, which is a traditional strategy -- and also leverages T.F. Green.

“The ads are running in our neighboring states, as well as states within the drive market (including New York and Philadelphia). Our research has shown that 82% of current visitors are from New England, so we wanted to tap into that market, but also expand our footprint a little further into the Mid-Atlantic region as well,” Salamano said.

“We are also buying ads in new markets such as Denver, New Orleans, and Florida to coincide with the new direct flights into T.F. Green,” she added.

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Highlight's Rhode Island's range of offerings

Digital, Digital, Digital

The days of placing print ads in the Boston Globe or the Wall Street Journal are gone. The Commerce strategy is to be highly targeted with digital ads.

“These ads are mostly digital, appearing on travel and trip planning sites such as TripAdvisor, Kayak, and Orbitz. By focusing on digital ads at this stage, it allows us to not only be strategic and highly-targeted with our spend, but also chart performance almost instantly,” said Salamano.

“The contract for media buys has a value of up to $1.7 million for all of our advertising, including not only this campaign but also our other tourism advertising efforts,” she added.


Related Slideshow: RI Tourism’s Advertising Campaign “Fun-Sized”


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