Just four short weeks ago, America was united on one topic — that Spring could not arrive soon enough. We certainly agreed, but we had the added reason of knowing that we had shot a super cool video in the Fall that we couldn't release until the arrival of warmer weather. Now that it has been released and the campaign is in full swing, I can share some behind the scenes information.
In 2013, the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia launched two successful outdoor initiatives — a hiking/biking/horse riding Trail Guide and companion website along with a Blueway brochure/map and companion website. Both initiatives were supported by some print and digital advertising. These programs helped enhance the region's growing reputation as a great destination for outdoor recreation. Our creative team envisioned a Spring 2014 campaign featuring a fun and quirky video that would catapult brand awareness to new heights.
The concept behind the video is that the secret is out and people are now flocking to the Alleghany Highlands to enjoy all kinds of outdoor experiences. It was filmed on the front lawn of the Visitor Center which symbolizes the entire region. On a beautiful, sun-drenched morning people start to show up flashmob style with their gear. They greet one another, get ready for the day, exchange high-fives and head off to rivers, lakes, trails and campgrounds to have fun. Within a span of one minute at least 30 people of all ages, a dog and a horse arrive at the Visitor Center. Before you know it a tent is up, picnic blanket spread and marshmallows are roasting on a roaring fire. Catchy, upbeat music plays the whole time. Be warned, when you watch the video and see happy faces, cute kids and animals you can't help smiling and you'll be whistling the tune for the rest of the day. The whole thing was supervised by Creative Director David Harris with videography and post-production by Sam Dean.
The next challenge was getting the video seen by as many people as possible. There is no way to force a video to go viral, but the least we could do was create a special landing page that made it easier for people to share. We then hit social media hard. The Alleghany Highlands Facebook page already had more page likes than there are residents in the town of Clifton Forge so that was a huge help. It was also posted on the Alleghany Highlands Chamber's Facebook page as well as our own. We asked every friend and partner to share it. We "boosted" posts on Facebook using geo-targeting and behavior targeting. We tweeted about it using key hashtags and received lots of kind retweets. In little more than three weeks the video had 10,000 views. The landing page has been receiving more views than the client's home page. We are excited by these results. Every video view is boosting brand awareness for the Alleghany Highlands. Keep viewing and keep sharing.