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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter

Cape Town offers spectacular coastal scenery. Photo from Cape Town Travel

Cape Town offers spectacular coastal scenery. Photo from Cape Town Travel

Cape Town Tourism, charged with enticing visitors to its beautiful city at the southern tip of Africa, is winning awards for creative use of social media and digital marketing in a recent advertising campaign that doubled as a Facebook game and contest.

Teaming with the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, Cape Town Tourism invited Facebook users to send their virtual profiles on a “holiday” to Cape Town.

Based on users’ answers to various questions, their Facebook profiles could then experience customized itineraries in the South African city, with the players receiving regular illustrated updates on how their profiles were spending their virtual time seeing the sights and perhaps relaxing at the beach.

Those enrolled in the game — more than 8,000 players in all, who hailed from South Africa, the UK, the U.S., Canada, India, Germany and elsewhere — could share their virtual experiences and invite their Facebook friends to play as well.

The interactive campaign resulted in an estimated half million total impressions on Facebook — which, not incidentally, is a hugely popular site among baby boomer travelers.

All those players, and thousands of other Facebook users who followed along, are now prospective Cape Town visitors. And the savvy marketers at Cape Town Tourism have contact information for all those who signed up. You can bet they’ll follow up with these folks, offering further enticements for visiting their city.

It wasn’t all fantasy — three players won real trips to Cape Town (where, presumably, they could reunite with their profiles) and take in the sights in the flesh. Besides relaxing at the beach, activities could include visiting nature preserves (including a penguin colony), touring Cape Town’s diverse neighborhoods, having a look at Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned) and riding a cable car or hiking up Table Mountain, which overlooks the city. (Find more activities here.)

I’ve only seen Table Mountain and Cape Town from the inside of an airplane, while landing at the airport there, but the sheer beauty of the place has remained seared in my memory for years. It’s high on my list as a destination to explore off the tarmac.

But Cape Town’s attractions aren’t that widely known outside South Africa, and the city can use a boost to its own public profile around the world. Wide-reaching, fast-moving, highly interactive — and relatively inexpensive — digital campaigns like this can certainly help do just that.

 

Don’t forget to download my free report, “How to Ride the Coming Wave of Boomers,” available here. It’s all about the best ways to market travel to baby boomers — the biggest-spending group of travelers the world has ever seen. It’s also the easiest way to subscribe to my blog, so you won’t miss a posting. Thanks!

 

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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