Bermuda tourism board gets Google assist in first mobile advertising campaign
The Bermuda Department of Tourism is midway through its first mobile ad campaign as it targets a relatively affluent audience from nearby markets on the East Coast of the US.
Ann Shutte, the tourism board’s director of global operations, says mobile was identified “as a key touchpoint for our affluent audience and we wanted to utilize Google capabilities to reach our audience while they are on the go.”
The campaign targets smartphone and iPad users with household incomes of $135,000 and above in key markets along the East Coast of the US, which generally may feature two-hour flights or thereabouts to Bermuda.
The destination marketing organization’s intent is to catch mobile users’ attention while they are engaged in — or receptive to starting — the travel planning process.
Bermuda’s campaign kicked off in early July and runs through the end of 2011.
The DMO keyed in on travel, health and fitness, and finance verticals to reach what it sees as the appropriate audience.
Here’s an example of some banner ads which appeared on TVGuide.com.
And, here are a couple of more banner ads.
The ads led to AdMob-created landing pages such as these below, which provided further information about the destination, led to additional engagement on Twitter and Facebook, offered booking links at GoToBermuda.com, featured click-to-call functionality, and/or prompted mobile users to download Bermuda’s new iPhone app.
Max Barsuk, senior digital media planner at Ingenuity Media, which is part of Martin Agency, points out that the iPad is very much part of the campaign, “although we cannot layer demo-targeting on the iPad.”
However, the focus on travel, health and fitness and finance verticals does much to reach the preferred demographics, Barsuk says.
Here’s a look at some of the iPad banner ads:
Bermuda’s iPad banner ads led to Google-created landing pages such as this:
Barsuk of Ingenuity points to AdMob numbers which posit that the mobile average click-through rate for travel is around 0.50%, meaning it takes 200 ad impressions to get one click-through.
Bermuda’s iPhone and iPad banners are performing at slightly higher than average rates with CTRs of .56% and .055%, respectively, Barsuk says.
Shutte, the Bermuda tourism board’s global operations director, says the board will wait until the end of the campaign to determine the cost-effectiveness of the campaign.
Asked what lessons the tourism department can take from the campaign so far, Shutte says: “It is important to ensure that all assets, including the landing page, provide utility and a good user experience.”
In retrospect, it would have been better to drive traffic directly to a mobile-optimized site, Shutte says, adding that such a site is currently under construction.
George Meredith, who heads Google’s mobile travel vertical, claims that tourism boards with limited budgets are getting “high impact in mobile advertising,” especially when campaigns include video.
Asked whether mobile advertising has been slow to live up to its promise, Meredith says, “I say we’re seeing the opposite” of that.
Google has been working with tourism boards on mobile campaigns for the past two years, and demand for mobile advertising is increasing, Meredith says.
AdMob creates banner ads, landing pages and mobile websites for clients, although it doesn’t do app development, Meredith says.
However, Meredith points out, simple mobile sites often can be converted into mobile apps fairly easily.
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.