In a break with the traditional tourism advertising formula, Discover Los Angeles – the official destination marketing organisation for the City of L.A. – isn’t selling the city in its latest global brand campaign, which debuted in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, it’s selling the feeling of the city.
The new campaign, developed by award-winning Los Angeles shop Mistress- founded by Aussie expats Damien Eley and Scott Harris – and directed by the acclaimed Floria Sigismondi, features visual metaphors that evoke the emotion of an L.A. moment. In one example, a dance troupe from the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance perform against the backdrop of a twinkling, dusky Downtown skyline view from Griffith Observatory, bringing to life the magical feeling of experiencing L.A.’s sweeping vistas.
“Following in-depth focus groups in nine of our key global markets, one point became clear: the feel of Los Angeles has an inexorable pull on visitors. They are interested in all of the things they can do in the city, but to them, L.A. is first and foremost about a lifestyle and a feeling,” said Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer for Discover Los Angeles. “We wanted to convey the experience of getting into the L.A. frame of mind and invite viewers to feel the palpable energy of the city.”
Encompassing three different executions, the campaign launched on Sunday in the United States, with pre-game and kick-off spots during the Super Bowl in key markets, and will launch on 20 February in two key international markets, Mexico and the United Kingdom. The campaign will roll-out later this year in China, Australia and Canada.
The 14-week long U.S. flight, timed to impact shoulder-season business, also includes television spots during the Los Angeles-hosted GRAMMY Awards on 12 February and Academy Awards on 26 February; a four-week complete station takeover of the 14th Street/Union Square subway station in New York City (beginning 20 February); digital video placements on YouTube and Hulu; and interactive and extensive digital and social media efforts in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno.
The station takeover in New York City includes a consumer contest where commuters are invited to snap a picture of themselves against one of the campaign’s images of a pool scene and post on Instagram using #discoverLA for a chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles.
In 2016, Los Angeles welcomed a record-breaking 47.3 million visitors from around the globe and became the first U.S. city destination to host more than 1 million Chinese visitors.