“New Orleans’ Backyard”
‘Just Imagine’ campaign launches to promote Jefferson Parish tourism
It can be a struggle to convince New Orleans’ tourists to explore beyond the French Quarter. The iconic neighborhood represents our city, and for many, our entire state. So, while a Mid-City restaurant marketer may be challenged to draw visitors up Canal St., the team at the Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau (JCVB) is making a case for crossing the parish line to the west and perhaps even booking a hotel room there.
A new campaign, “Just Imagine,” launched July 18 to draw more leisure tourism to Jefferson Parish. It’s a robust, omnidirectional marketing effort that includes print, outdoor, digital, social media, television and public relations. The high-energy advertising pieces are anchored by The Imagination Movers, a family-friendly band of four friends that became the No. 1 rated major touring act for families according to Ticketmaster.com. The Imagination Movers are serving as the spokespeople and brand ambassadors for “Just Imagine.”
The new leisure tourism campaign was spurred by new revenue generated via the Jefferson Parish hotel industry.
“Our operating budget is almost one-fourth of some of the destinations that compete with us when booking group business. We have seldom had enough budget to properly promote to leisure tourists,” said Violet Peters, CDME, president and CEO of JCVB. “That changed because of the JCVB-member hotel industry’s confidence in our bureau and marketing efforts. JCVB-member hotels agreed to self-assess a 1 percent surcharge on room nights for the sole purpose of funding additional tourism promotion to leisure visitors. That support from the hotel industry led to the development of this campaign. We will invest approximately $850,000 annually into developing a leisure tourism base.”
JCVB worked with their longtime partner, Buisson Creative, to create “Just Imagine.” Peters said her team at the bureau collaborated with the Buisson team to collectively determine the theme, message and promotional plan. Once The Imagination Movers were confirmed as the spokespersons, Buisson Creative worked more than six months to create the campaign.
The 15-, 30- and 60-second video advertisements each feature The Imagination Movers and different aspects of Jefferson Parish, highlighting the food, nature and experiences the parish has to offer. Still images from the video footage were chosen to create the other collateral including posters, a visitor guide, and even new hero images for the website.
A whimsical paper airplane serves as the constant image, just about to leave the photo or the advertisement and head on to some new adventure, while it leaves behind a string of dots. Those dots allude to the jet trails of the airplanes flying to and from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (located in Jefferson Parish), as well as to the ellipses of thought when you “Just Imagine…” being on an adventure in Jefferson Parish.
Peters said the primary audiences for “Just Imagine” are visitors looking for a weekend getaway, those looking for adventure, those who love the outdoors, and visitors to New Orleans who are curious and interested in the culture of the entire region.
The campaign has a planned lifespan of two years, but there is no definitive end.
“Only the success of the campaign will determine its length and evolution,” explained Peters. “We will measure success through analytics, as well as following trends on bookings at our area hotels. The more leisure visitors who begin visiting Jefferson, the more we will be able to define our success through this effort.”
The tourism numbers for Jefferson Parish are already impressive. The JCVB reports that tourism is a $1.9 billion industry that supports 26,000 jobs. Jefferson Parish offers 72 hotels with almost 8,500 hotel rooms, 1,500 restaurants and 240 attractions, as well as more than 75 annual fairs and festivals.
To see the campaign in action, check out the Visit Jefferson Parish website and watch social media for the hashtags #JustImagineJefferson and #VisitJeffersonParish.