Southwest Virginia hides away in the corner of VA. The locals know why they love it and its not just for the natural beauty. VA Tourism has a bold new vision for 3 cities only a short drive away: Abingdon, Bristol, and St. Paul. The task was to brand them as a getaway location that offers something for everyone, and it surely does. This was an optional project proposed by Kelly O'Keefe, that included a weekend trip to SWVA. While there we went on excursions, met the locals, ate amazing food, and visited some of their most popular landmarks.
The team and I spent weeks researching, brainstorming, and executing. Our final concept: The Next Place You'll Feel Homesick Over
One aspect that we loved about each area was that visitors made it their second home. They traveled from all over knowing they will feel just as comfortable there as they do in their own hometown. The locals make everyone feel at home and we experienced that firsthand.
In order to get the word out we created a slew of out-of-home ads, to placed primarily in Northern Virginia. We displayed the unique messages on elevator wraps, wall murals, Facebook carousels, website banners, and even an NPR radio spot. To top it off, we mocked up the new branding on all sorts of merchandise in order to get people excited SWVA.
Finally, branding and messaging are good but we also asked ourselves how we could make it easier for people to plan the trip. Creating a website allowed there to be one central location to drive traffic. On the website visitors build an itinerary from scratch, browse events, or popular locations. As the number of options increase so does the time it takes to make a decision, and so we added the option of pre-built itineraries.
I am from Roanoke, a city in Southwest Virginia. The people there that I consider family, go beyond the biological, and they are a hospitable bunch. I was grateful for the opportunity to help share a vision for the beautiful SWVA.