Why market a busy destination in its busiest period?

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Why market a busy destination in its busiest period?

With over 24 million visitors per year and a 1% year on year growth, the V&A Waterfront is clearly one of Cape Town’s top attractions. The festive season adds to the influx of seasonal tourists, and during this period, locals perceive it to be inaccessible, crowded and a difficult destination to navigate. Why then, would one promote the destination during the busiest time of the year?

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/  Our brief

Our objective was to raise awareness and change perceptions, by equipping visitors with practical, easy-to-follow advice on how to access and navigate the property and best times of day to visit. We were thus asked in our communication to acknowledge that, while high season is undeniably a busy period, if one visits in off-peak hours, they are sure to enjoy the diverse offering of shops, eateries and entertainment, with time to spare.

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/  Our approach

To communicate our objectives, we produced simple, clear messaging featuring iconic V&A landmarks in a creative format that provided practical ways for people to beat the challenges associated with festive season shopping. The communication was targeted at domestic visitors, as this audience has the strongest reasons to choose local malls instead of the V&A Waterfront at this time of year.

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/   Our simple solution

The message was integrated into the visual treatment using a series of three images and two videos and applied over a selection of targeted channels. On-site channels promoted upcoming events and functional messaging on touchscreens, billboards and in high-traffic areas such as the food court area and parking basements. These communications encouraged further engagement on the website. Selected publications were also used to promote the festive campaign.

The videos formed the backbone of the strategy, showcasing the challenges people face in other malls and comparing these with the differences to be found at the V&A Waterfront. An ironic juxtaposition of reality and assumption compared the festive season with the mass annual migration of animals to greener pastures. The David Attenborough-style voice-over gave a droll account of how best to avoid the rush and silliness of the festive herds, and delivered a functional message, in an amusing way. 

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/ The results

In terms of awareness, the campaign message reached the desired audience and delivered over 5 million impressions, while the allocated spend attained a desirable return on investment in terms of engagement. In 18 days, the static adverts attained a reach of 500 000 on social media, and the two videos received 41 000+ views on YouTube, 75 000+ views on social media, and 150 000+ completed views on the Google ad network. With a 50% video completion view rate and 180 000 more video views than was expected, the story is one of great creative supported by an effective channel strategy, to claim an overarching campaign success.

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Our Work

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