San Diego surfing legend Rob Machado says he’s a big fan of Swami’s. Celebrity chef Marcela Valladolid raves about the city’s street food. Self-described “beer geek” and Stone Bewing CEO Greg Koch shares his passion for local craft breweries.
Dubbed “Guides to the Good Stuff,” the digital campaign showcases San Diego attractions, from golf courses and local theater to craft breweries and the zoo, through the eyes of the experts.
In addition to Machado, Valladolid and Koch, the short video clips also feature photographer Aaron Chang, San Diego Symphony Director Jahja Ling, “golf ambassador” Tina Mickelson and San Diego Zoo Animal Care Supervisor Rick Schwartz. Each of them were asked in interviews to reveal their favorite local spots or hidden gems.
The insider tips will also be incorporated into the Tourism Authority’s vacation planning guide and in inserts placed in newspapers like The Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times, said Kerri Verbeke Kapich, a senior vice president with the tourism bureau.
“All the research we’ve done show people really like the television ads but you have to do more than a 30-second TV spot,” she said. “The guide is really about people who can give you a new idea or a new insight as to why San Diego is unique or what they enjoy about San Diego. The TV ads get the awareness up and then these ideas give people a reason to stay longer and come back again.”
The $670,000 first phase of the digital initiative is part of the Tourism Authority’s $12 million spring “Happiness is Calling” marketing campaign.
The advertising effort marks a sharp turnaround from last year when the agency had to lay off a sizable percentage of it staff and cut back on much of its TV commercials following a dispute with then-Mayor Bob Filner over the financing mechanism for tourism marketing.
A hotelier-run Tourism Marketing District relies on a 2 percent surcharge on hotel room bills to finance most of the city’s advertising efforts. Much of that money had been frozen because of city liability concerns related to ongoing litigation challenging the levy.
To read more, check out the UT San Diego article here.