“I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation of the way Gibson Media has conducted business with us for the past six years. It is very rare to find such high standards of professionalism, sincerity, and trust-worthiness in the world today.”

Michael Davidson - Former President, Tourism Walla Walla

Changing a destination's perception.

 
onions
wine
 

When Gibson Media first started working with Tourism Walla Walla in 2005, the research we conducted revealed that people in both Seattle and Portland had no idea what the region had to offer or how far away it was. They ass ociated it with “the prison” and “onions” and felt it was “way too far to drive.” In reality, the area had more than 100 wineries, cozy B&Bs, and was within a 3-4 hour drive.

 
 
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Positioning

Our “Walla Walla: Surprise, surprise” tagline came as a result our market research. In the following six years, Gibson Media executed a variety of traditional and digital strategies to drive tourism and change the perception of the region to a picturesque getaway. 

 
 

 
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Client Highlights

  • Changed brand perception from "prison & onions" to a wine destination over the course of 6 years 
  • Put Walla Walla on the map for weekend getaways through multi-platform promotions
  • Implemented a pulsed approach to ensure efficiency 
  • Introduced digital strategies (SEM/Retargeting/Display) amidst traditional tactics to drive visitation and boost hotel reservations

 

Bigger than life.

WallaWallaWine

 

Prioritizing markets 

Extensive analysis of regional media data, state travel data, and the local black box reports, guided our media market selections and weighting of customer targets. By cross examining this data with cities that had the least travel barriers we chose to target Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Yakima/Tri-Cities and Boise as our top markets.

Pulsed Approach 

Focus group findings led us to recommend a pulsed approach to marketing during two distinct periods of the year — spring and fall. Snowy mountain passes proved to be a major deterrent for travelers during the winter months and local Walla Walla events had enough power to drive summer visitation. We also ran a series of shorter campaigns focused on various Walla Walla events throughout the year. 

Focus groups/research in target markets, positioning line, messaging pillars/extensive copywriting, dozens of media campaigns including print ads, direct mail, radio and TV spots.

 

 

 
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Digital Transformation.

Our proven strategy led to clear results. Website traffic saw substantial increase over the course of the 6 years. Monthly visits went from 21,503 to 56,886. 

Over the course of our six-year relationship with Tourism Walla Walla we transformed the brand from one where most people in the Pacific Northwest didn’t even know where the town was located to a high-level wine destination recognized throughout the region (and beyond) for its 100+ wineries; small-town, laid-back vibe; and friendly atmosphere. Put simply, in 2005, people equated the town with onions and prison. By 2011, it was known for its merlot and B+Bs. 

All these branding initiatives were accomplished via a series of comprehensive annual media buys which leveraged the maximum amount of exposure for our client; they received a good deal of “bang” for a comparatively little “buck” — regardless of the medium. From radio and print. To Facebook and web.

 
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Putting heads in beds.

Seattle Times WALLA

 

 

Over the course of our six-year relationship with Tourism Walla Walla we transformed the brand from one where most people in the Pacific Northwest didn’t even know where the town was located to a high-level wine destination recognized throughout the region (and beyond) for its 100+ wineries; small-town, laid-back vibe; and friendly atmosphere. Put simply, in 2005, people equated the town with onions and prison. By 2011, it was known for its merlot and B+Bs. 

All these branding initiatives were accomplished via a series of comprehensive annual media buys which leveraged the maximum amount of exposure for our client; they received a good deal of “bang” for a comparatively little “buck” — regardless of the medium. From radio and print. To Facebook and web.

 
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