In 2019, Chattanooga Tourism Co. enlisted Miles to develop a new brand centered around the promise that no one will ever feel like a tourist when visiting Chattanooga. The new brand highlighted the destination’s welcoming nature using imagery that reflected its diversity and light-hearted messaging directed to the target audience of females, ages 25–54, who are nature lovers, history buffs and amenity seekers.
But two crises struck just after the brand launched in January 2020—COVID-19 and a series of devastating tornadoes—meaning it would need a fresh spin, one that would go beyond typical recovery messaging to elevate local businesses, motivate residents to frequent them and restore the city’s sense of pride and community.
The Tourism Co. turned its focus to supporting local businesses and boosting morale to remind Chattanoogans what it meant to be Chattanoogans.
We quickly shifted our content focus and let industry partners tell their stories in compelling videos that could inspire locals as well as future travelers.
Our first effort was a video designed to further recognize and celebrate the city’s diverse cultures by providing a behind-the-scenes look at The Mad Priest, a craft coffee and cocktail bar that employs local immigrants and refugees.
We also rolled out a series of anthem cutdown videos to celebrate key pillars of the destination brand: Community Attitude, Business Attitude, Natural Assets and Created Assets. Each anthem was promoted via paid media in the local Chattanooga market as a rally cry for the community to reignite the local economy.
Later, we introduced seasonal content to capitalize on increasing shoulder season and holiday travel from nearby markets—an approach that felt more authentic to the new brand than the standard “We want you to visit, just not now” message that had inundated the marketplace.
We promoted the “One of Us” campaign through owned channels and paid social posts, and the brand anthem videos were broadcasted weekly via local media.
The “One of Us” campaign successfully kept Chattanooga businesses top-of-mind and breathed new life into local hot spots.
Thus far, the collection of videos has garnered more than 2M views on Facebook and YouTube. From July through December 2020, we saw a 26% increased conversion rate and more than 116M impressions across the integrated campaign. Most impressive of all, the average monthly occupancy increased by 20% during months supported by the “One of Us” campaign.