|VISIT FLORIDA Wins Two Mercury Awards at 2015 ESTO Conference|
This week in Portland, the U.S. Travel Association held its annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference. During the event, the winners of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) 2015 Mercury Awards were announced. I am very proud to share that VISIT FLORIDA won Mercuries in two categories – the Social Media Campaign category for “Bragging Season” and the Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign category for our “Florida Beach Finder.”
As a component of our overall winter campaign, VISIT FLORIDA and Spark developed the core concept of “Bragging Season,” which was built on Nielsen’s insight that 92 percent of people trust their peers rather than brands when making decisions about travel. In order to cultivate peer-to-peer message sharing, VISIT FLORIDA was in a unique position to be able to activate our 202,000+ Share a Little Sunshine fans, who created content and interactions that drove awareness for the campaign throughout their social networks. This group is a community of fans that VISIT FLORIDA has built who celebrate what they love about Florida through our Share a Little Sunshine in-state advocacy platform. Utilizing our Share a Little Sunshine fans allowed VISIT FLORIDA to create a socially-focused campaign led not by the brand, but by our strongest advocates. Through this campaign, we were able to increase both awareness and engagement with nearly 34 million impressions and more than 1 million engagements.
Last year, VISIT FLORIDA won the inaugural “Judges Choice” in the 2014 Mercury Awards for our Google Trekker project, which generated nearly 15 million images of Florida’s diverse beaches and made them a permanent feature on Google Maps. This year we won a Mercury Award for the project we developed from these images. Following Google Trekker’s success, we were able to integrate the imagery into VISITFLORIDA.com and collaborated with TripTuner to develop an interactive tool that allows travelers to virtually walk hundreds of miles of Sunshine State beaches from legendary locations to lesser-known sanctuaries. The resource allows users to tune in their preferences in four ranges of beach personalities and immediately view choices that best match their interests. Florida Beach Finder provides potential visitors around the globe with an incredibly visual and interactive way to help plan their next Sunshine State vacation while increasing awareness among visitors of the diversity of Florida’s beaches.
VISIT FLORIDA is looking forward to helping host next year’s ESTO Conference in Boca Raton.
About the Mercury Awards
The Mercury Awards are given to state tourism offices by NCSTD, recognizing members for excellence and creative accomplishment in state destination marketing and promotion, and inspiring the continued development of exciting destination marketing and promotional programs through showcasing outstanding work.
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