A free ride in luxury promotes Miami lifestyle

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Current Lifestyle Marketing threw a pool party in Manhattan to kick off the new "It's So Miami" positioning and worldwide marketing campaign.

Client: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (Miami, FL)
Agency
: Current Lifestyle Marketing (New York)
Campaign
: It's So Miami in Manhattan: Taxi Stand
Duration
: June 25 - 26
Budget: $100,000

In summer 2012 Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Current Lifestyle Marketing, its AOR for the US and Canada, threw a pool party in Manhattan's Union Square to kick off the new “It's So Miami” positioning and worldwide marketing campaign. This past summer, the team supported the ongoing campaign by giving New Yorkers free rides around the city in branded luxury cars on June 25.

“New York is our number one domestic feeder market, so we always want to have a cutting-edge PR program there,” says Bill Talbert, president and CEO of GMCVB. “We promote what's new and exciting in Miami in the summer programs and provide an experience of our Miami lifestyle and what visitors experience there.”

Strategy
The campaign was inspired by a print ad showing a bright orange premium sports car (the McLaren 12C) parked outside a Cuban coffee shop offering 50-cent coffee.

“[The ad illustrates] the juxtaposition of experiences available in Miami,” explains agency SVP Sara Joseph. “We wanted to provide a tangible experience of that.”

The event was hosted across the street from Bryant Park.

Media relations, social media outreach, and a sweepstakes helped drive awareness and traffic to vacation package listings on MiamiandBeaches.com.

Tactics
A press release was issued June 24.

On the morning of June 25, the cars drove past the Today and Good Morning America studios to expose crowds there to the branding.

Ten travel and lifestyle journalists and bloggers were hosted at the event. Several were picked up in the cars.

Passengers lined up at a branded “taxi stand” to get rides between noon and 6:00 pm. Social media followers could tweet #SoMiami for a fast pass to ride.

GMCVB's chairman of the board Steven Haas and Talbert talked with the crowd about Miami and escorted passengers to the cars.

All drivers were trained to deliver messaging.

A deejay was on hand, and Cuban coffees, cocofrios, and branded sunglasses and t-shirts were given away. 

Passengers who uploaded photos of their experience anywhere online with the hashtag #SoMiami on June 25 were entered to win a trip to Miami. 

Results
Jennifer Diaz, GMCVB's associate VP of media relations and promotions, says the campaign contributed to a 17.8% traffic increase to Miamiandbeaches.com during the week of June 24 compared to the previous week.

“We were very happy with results,” Diaz notes. “We don't see a 17.8% increase in website traffic even with some of our ad campaigns.” 

Vacation package sales data was unavailable (booking was done through hotel partners).

Tweets with the #SoMiami hashtag (656) generated 6.8 million impressions.

Twelve hundred sunglasses, 1,000 t-shirts, 100 Cuban coffees and 250 cocofrios were given away.

GMCVB picked up 406 new Facebook likes and 176 new Twitter followers.

The contest drew 235 eligible entries.

Twelve stories ran in outlets including Univision and Miami's NBC affiliate.

Future
PR efforts will expand internationally this fall with a focus on Brazil, Miami's top international feeder market.

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