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091813 WOT Wins Award
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Wyoming Office of Tourism Wins National Mercury Award for Best Digital Campaign 2013

The Wyoming Office of Tourism won a Mercury Award for "Best Digital Campaign" at the U.S. Travel Association's 2013 Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO). The award, announced the evening of August 20, recognizes the office's innovative use of digital tools to provide visitors with a simpler, more immersive and engaging representation of what a Wyoming winter visit is all about.

The integrated marketing campaign consisted of digital banner ads, mobile ads and a Winter View Book microsite that utilized new parallax scrolling technology. Click through rates on the online banner ads were over two times that of industry standard and website traffic increased 18 percent compared to the same time period of the previous year. Visitors to the Winter View Book microsite engaged with the site at a rate 57 percent greater than the general tourism website for that time frame.

"Ultimately, we were able to try something new that was exciting for the consumer and allowed us to drive winter visitation to the state," said Diane Shober, director of Wyoming Office of Tourism. "We targeted the new direct flight markets in an engaging way. The results show our success. It's very rewarding to be recognized for that," she added.

Skier visits at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort set a record for the 2012/2013 winter season, exceeding 500,000 guests for the first time. Winter enplanements to the state were at their second highest level on record, experiencing an 11 percent spike at the Jackson Hole Airport alone. Direct flights to this airport had recently been added in the domestic markets of Minneapolis, Newark and San Francisco.

The banner ads used teasers to prompt engagement. For example, the skier targeted messaging showed a skier who had launched off a cliff, frozen mid-jump. The ad then asked, "Does he land it?" By clicking on the image, the respondent saw the end of the jump play out in an expanded window and was invited to order a guide, learn about new nonstop flights available to Jackson Hole, or visit the Winter View Book. The Winter View Book microsite used parallax scrolling to present a three-dimensional illusion highlighting Wyoming's dramatic geography.

The campaign was developed by Wyoming Office of Tourism's agency of record, Barnhart Communications. "Our goal from the beginning was to create a campaign that drove engagement from the moment the consumer noticed our banner ads," said Adam Nelson, senior art director at Barnhart. "The use of video in the ads and the parallax scrolling of the microsite accomplished that. We saw much higher engagement rates than in previous campaigns, ones that far exceeded industry standards."

Barnhart also oversaw the media buying for the banner ad placements, contributing to the success of the campaign. Placements were secured that targeted skiers and snowmobilers out-of-state with an emphasis on markets with new non-stop flight service to Wyoming. The campaign ran from October 2012 to February 2013. The microsite can still be viewed until October 1 here:

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