Like many destinations, Virginia Beach traditionally relied on a conventional approach to marketing the destination featuring the beach, and images that portrayed visitors enjoying themselves in, on and around the water and sand.How do you take a destination that is known for it’s beach — and tell the story that there is more to the story than sun, sand and water?
We launched a 360-degree multi-media campaign – “Go Beachless” — designed to transcend category conventions, aggressively combat competitors and aim directly at our marketing challenges. We convinced the City of Virginia Beach to “pass” a new ordinance making it legal to “go beachless” and experience the wider variety of things that Virginia Beach has to offer. This “news” was launched locally and in feeder-markets via TV, newspaper, outdoor, digital video and social media, and described the off-the-beach activities in the area, including history, entertainment, nightlife, outdoor recreation, etc. to suit any taste or adventure.
At the same time, we launched a guerrilla protest movement – “Go Beach” – from the pro-beach aficionados of the destination. Communications from this group ran simultaneously to describe all the awesome things that the beach offers (and always has). Both creative efforts continually tout the benefits of “their” side, educating the potential visitor about everything there is to do in Virginia Beach. This humorous and fun launch of a “political campaign” was designed to capitalize on today’s often crazy world of politics and give consumers a smile while educating them on Virginia Beach.