Visual storytelling is the best way to engage your audience, especially in tourism.
This year, we set out to recognize a leader in visual storytelling in the hospitality and travel industry. We partnered with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) to survey hotels, destinations, attractions and travel brands about the lifecycle of visual assets in hospitality and travel, and to present the Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award to a leader in the industry.
Our team of photographers, videographers and visual content experts reviewed hundreds of award-winning visual storytelling campaigns, from entertaining video content marketing series to eye-catching social media campaigns. We were blown away by the beautiful imagery in the travel industry, but one brand in particular stood out from the rest.
At HSMAI’s Adrian Awards on February 21, 2017, we presented the Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award to Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. The Canadian province wowed us with its ‘Broader Palette’ campaign, which also won a Platinum, a Gold, a Bronze and three Silver Awards at the Adrians.
The Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award celebrates a brand in the travel and tourism industry that has shown consistent commitment to using visual assets creatively in marketing and communication to tell its story. And if you watch any of the videos in the playlist above, you won’t be surprised that ‘Broader Palette’ hit the marks.
Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that made this campaign a standout.
1. High quality production value of images and video.
This campaign is inherently visual, because it’s all about color. Take a look at some of the thinking behind ‘Broader Palette’ in this snippet from the team’s Adrian Award submission.
J.C. Roy once said, “The province of NL is a goldmine for colors. Every cove is a studio for an artist.” And we couldn’t agree more. Our natural, yet surprisingly exotic destination offers compelling experiences that are different from ‘traditional’ travel destinations. This place is steeped in creativity, with a vibrant spirit. BroaderPalette.ca aimed to take advantage of these competitive advantages and foster audience engagement in digital / social media.
The team used expansive landscape shots, tight cutaways of colorful details and slow motion footage to highlight the colors (and spirit) of Newfoundland and Labrador.
2. Compelling storytelling.
‘Broader Palette’ had its share of gorgeous landscape shots, but the campaign’s characters and stories really struck our team of judges. This painter’s story is simple and authentic. It holds your attention, and introduces you to someone you might really meet on your visit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
3. Use of forward-thinking formats.
Video marketing is an increasingly crucial tool for brands of any industry. This campaign highlights the power of visual storytelling. The videos were not only shared on social media, where they gained incredible traction, but they were also hosted on the landing page BroaderPalette.ca. This interactive site let viewers navigate to different stories based on color (eg. jellybean row) or topic (eg. architecture).
4. Innovative distribution.
The team wanted to grow Newfoundland and Labrador’s social media following, and to drive those followers to the landing page. They used a customized approach on Facebook and Twitter, launching a new video every week. The brand’s Facebook engagement grew an astounding 60.3%. The Facebook page gained 25,000 new followers in five months, a 23% increase. Quality digital video views (more than 30 seconds) topped 1.3 million.
5. Demonstrated impact on their audiences.
Not only did the campaign cause an uptick on Newfoundland and Labrador’s social media following and engagement, it also drove viewers to book trips. Traffic to NewfoundlandLabrador.com went up 12.5%, demonstrating that thousands of people were driven to the site to plan trips. It’s too soon to tell if air visitation has increased, but in five months, non-resident auto traffic went up 8.1% year over year.
The Bottom Line
The creative team behind this campaign was truly inspired by their subject matter.
“We are so fortunate to live in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Andrea Peddle, Director of Tourism Marketing. “It’s the most creative place on the planet. It’s a source of inspiration for us all – an inspiration to our storytelling.”
As you plan your brand’s campaigns, seek out organic sources of inspiration. Focus on how you can have an impact with visual storytelling, and use this outstanding campaign as a guide.
Congratulations to Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism and their creative partners at Target!
Cover photo by Dani Maczynski, courtesy of HSMAI.