Destination DC tells summer visitors "We Got This"

Robin McClain, VP of marketing and communications at Destination DC, talks to Laura Nichols about showing off DC's hip personality

Why make a summer-specific campaign?

Summer is our largest advertising spend for the year. We focus on that time period for a couple of reasons: Hotel rates are down, so it’s a great time for families to visit Washington, DC.

It’s also a need period. Other times of the year, spring and fall in particular, hotels are generally doing very well in terms of meetings or convention business as well as leisure travel. In the summer there aren’t as many of those meetings. When Congress is out of session, it slows down.

We had been promoting "DC Cool" and were looking for a way to broaden that for summer. That is #WeGotThis, and we’ve created a summer commercial, a giveaway to Washington, DC, and a lot of content to go along with what the area has. You can take that #WeGotThis meaning from Washington, DC, has it all, or from the sense of no need to take out your wallet because there’s so much free to do, from our museums, to the National Mall to neighborhood tours.

There have been 12,600 sign-ups for the giveaway and 3,184 post-entry shares.

Were you looking to build on the momentum from 2014?

It’s the third year in a row we’ve had record numbers [of visitors]. We are proud to have fabulous monuments and memorials for people to see, but we’re more than a federal city. We are a true local city with great personality and a vibe that people relate to when they visit. We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can on the marketing side to promote the true Washington, DC, as we who live here know it.

What inspired Destination DC to launch a free app with 24 emojis that include one for the Capitol and the Washington Monument?

Some Millennial team members were using bitmoji personally, and we raised the question in our weekly meeting: could we do something like this for Washington, DC? It’s another way to keep up with trends and show that ‘DC Cool’ effect. Kids can have fun visiting the Washington Monument, seeing the White House or going on a Capitol tour and use emojis to communicate [that experience].

The app has been downloaded 4,500 times since June 15 and seen 170,000 interactions and 183,000 impressions.

 

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