- Travel Texas, the state's tourism promotion agency, boosted visits and hotel spending with a mobile ad campaign for millennials and Generation X. The state's "Travel Texas 2019" campaign included immersive 360-degree smartphone ads that aimed to "turn lookers into bookers," according to a case study shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The campaign boosted non-Texan tourist arrivals 25% based on ad exposure, and generated a two-to-one return on ad spend (ROAS) based on tracked hotel revenue. In addition, the promotion saw a 38% conversion rate for visits to key pages of TravelTexas.com. The mobile ads had an engagement rate of 22% — 4.5 times the average for a mobile interstitial — while average time spent with the ad was 67% higher than the industry average.
- Travel Texas worked with ad agency Proof Advertising and ad-tech company AdTheorent on the campaign. AdTheorent's 360-degree rich media gyrosphere units stitch together multiple images to provide an immerse view on a smartphone. The campaign also used AdTheorent's Audience Builder to improve ad targeting to specific groups, with millennials and Gen Xers seeing different ad creative.
Travel Texas' campaign results shows that adult audiences like Gen X can be targeted through mobile advertising, which has tended to focus on younger generations like Gen Z that have mostly shunned traditional media. By providing an immersive view of images that didn't require Travel Texas to spend money to produce video content, AdTheorent's technology achieved a similar effect as 360-degree videos that place a viewer within a desired setting. The immersive view was paired with vertical videos for smartphone displays that showed different activities throughout the state.
To target key audiences, AdTheorent used a "live-poll" ad asking viewers about the experiences they'd like to have in Texas. Viewers were asked, "What type of Texas trip excites you?" and were shown four choices: outdoor, food and drink, arts and culture, or shopping. Based on those responses, AdTheorent identified consumers within an audience group who were most likely to convert into travel bookers, per its announcement.
AdTheorent has worked with other organizations to drive visits from mobile campaigns, including Goodwill, which saw six-fold jump in store visits last year from its effort to reach consumers near the charity group's retail locations. AdTheorent developed a 2017 campaign for Visit Austin, the marketing agency for the Texas capital, to boost engagement and visitation. The firm's work also helped the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning develop a similar targeted campaign focused on discouraging drunk driving instead of encouraging travel. The campaign featured a 360-degree video that saw 88% completion rates, 40% higher than the industry average, the company said.