The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) is a destination marketing organization covering the entire Oregon Coast, affectionately dubbed, “The People’s Coast” because of its designation as publicly accessible, from top to bottom. OCVA is operated by an adventurous group: kayak, and fishing guides, mushroom foragers, ‘van-lifers’, and the like, whose passion for outdoor activities is matched by their acuity with the business of local tourism. They initially engaged us to translate their recent brand refresh into a more inspiring and useful website, but kept us on deck for a variety of creative projects.
Though eager to increase value for their marketing partners, as well as to expand sustainable practices and responsible tourism, OCVA’s top priority was to inspire and educate coastal visitors. They looked to us to synthesize this list of objectives into a cohesive presentation. Technical challenges included integrating a third party destination database, and converting to a locally-hosted ad platform. Moreover, the site had accumulated a tremendous amount of content. OCVA needed guidance on how to curate it for best impact, and the tools to leverage new content moving forward.
- To discover new ways to elevate the brand while adhering to guidelines
- To create a user experience that feels inspiring and exploratory
- To make the site useful for OCVA in terms of ongoing content development, and insights into user behavior
- To create a web property that reinforces OCVA’s position as an innovative, thriving organization
Our incremental process allows us to tackle a complex multi-faceted project in a way that involves the client every step of the way, and prevents important details from being overlooked. On the creative side, we did a lot of listening to understand the client’s vision, then went to work creating a modern outdoorsy look & feel that was immersive and open.
In terms of engineering, we integrated Travel Oregon’s OTIS destination database into the site, providing a consistent source of information to visitors, and additional exposure to local businesses. Beyond creating a library of client-editable templates, we also brought a complex ad system into the framework of the site, then offered training to stakeholders. We applied an immersive parallax effect on the Home page’s hero photo, which is rotated seasonally. Overall, the site illustrates the headline, “363 Miles of Possibilities”.
View the site at visittheoregoncoast.com
Good marketers have to respond to the times. Heading into the COVID pandemic, the challenge for tourism had shifted from too few, to too many, visitors on the coast. So, we developed a campaign aimed at raising awareness of good trail etiquette. We created the Code of the Coast concept to represent a list of do’s and don’ts, while subtly reinforcing the idea that it’s cool to follow local ethics.
Then, coming out of COVID, we sought to address another new phenomenon: consumers being abusive to local employees. In line with the overall brand personality, and using a voice that encourages visitors to do the right thing without lecturing, we developed the Be Kind campaign, highlighting scenarios that were testing everyone’s patience.
We deployed and managed digital media for both campaigns, including social, search, and online display. This included an ingenious geo-targeting effort that delivered messages to visitors when they arrived at 10 specific high-traffic spots along the coast. Our management of budget, along with ongoing reporting and optimization, allowed the client to ensure good results to their partners while staying focused on other priorities.
Anecdotal feedback on the website redesign has been positive both in and outside of the local tourism industry. OCVA has been able to use the site as a platform for expanding their marketing partnerships, and to gain exposure for important new initiatives. Here are some highlights of what we accomplished.
- Brought the design and creative into alignment with their new brand in a way that elevated it while illustrating new possibilities
- Organized voluminous content, using an improved navigation to make it more accessible to users
- Increased Sessions 19% in the midst of the COVID pandemic (YoY)
- Saw 33% increase in mobile users (YoY)
- Decreased Bounce Rate by 20% (YoY)
- Consistently produced double-digit CTR and sub-$1.00 CPCs for Google Adwords ads
“The final deliverable from Cardwell Creative wowed key stakeholders. The educational, appealing site met all expectations. The streamlined approach to project management made for a smooth collaboration full of flexibility, communication, and creativity. ”
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