When the pandemic hit, Delaware’s tourism industry and small businesses were deeply affected by closures and shifting regulations. Even when businesses reopened, many customers were still hesitant to support them due to ongoing safety concerns. Although the state already had a way for businesses to indicate adoption of COVID-19 safety protocols—by displaying a COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards shield emblem—surveys confirmed that residents and potential visitors were largely unaware of it.
A majority of survey respondents said it was important for them to know if a business was following COVID-19 precautions before they would consider a visit.
The Delaware Division of Small Business tapped Miles to help it shine a light on how partners show their clientele that they are following COVID-19 safety best practices, thereby encouraging consumer confidence, boosting traffic to the Delbiz.com website and drawing customers.
With so many “we’re here when you’re ready” campaigns flooding media outlets, we knew we would have to present our message in a totally out-of-the-box way—taking a lighthearted approach to a serious issue. Building off groundwork already laid by the Delaware Tourism Office, we created a dynamic promotion featuring a masked superhero character to bring attention to the shield emblem that businesses display.
We targeted in-state residents and tourists ages 25–59 interested in dining, beaches, shopping and history, as well as consumers who had indicated interest in going out by shopping for COVID-related items online and visiting sites with COVID updates. To reach these audiences, we developed 15- and 30-second video spots as well as print, social and digital ads that we delivered from Aug. 31 to Oct. 25, 2020.
The campaign itself was a true superhero for Delaware: The multimedia campaign generated an estimated 1.5M impressions on broadcast TV, 1.1M impressions in digital video and 1M digital display impressions. On the first day of the campaign, Delbiz.com/Protect generated 46 times the amount of daily traffic and a five-time increase in page views throughout the campaign. Pre- and post-campaign Google surveys showed that where the ad campaign ran, awareness of the shield increased 56%, and business participation in the program increased 10%.