SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - To stimulate demand during the upcoming spring and summer season, the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) is launching a new brand advertising campaign – “Happy and You Know It” – with the TV commercial debuting on national TV on Jan. 29 during the Farmers Insurance Open.
The SDTA plans to spend $8 million promoting San Diego through the end of June, with $6.27 million dedicated to “Happy and You Know It.” The SDTA designed the multi-layered campaign to inspire visitation by reinforcing that happiness comes naturally in San Diego with everyone able to express that joy in their own unique way. Using new music from Michael Franti & Spearhead, the theme song for the campaign modernizes the catchy nursey rhyme song with upbeat sounds to evoke the fun, vibrant and inviting characteristics of the destination.
Julie Coker, SDTA’s president and CEO, said the new campaign builds on the “Sunny Outlook” brand the organization has been cultivating for more than a decade and which has helped make San Diego one of the country’s top destinations.
“Now more than ever travelers are looking for places with diverse communities and people where they can escape and explore, and San Diego fits the bill for so many would-be visitors,” Coker said. “Our natural beauty, our outdoor offerings, world class arts and cultural attractions, and our near-perfect weather makes for a vacation that is both happy and healthy.”
She pointed to recent findings from Destination Analysts, a market research firm that surveys U.S. travel attitudes and behaviors, that showed over the next 12 months, Americans are most interested in enjoying scenic beauty, warm weather outdoor activities, road trips, dining in regional restaurants, visiting historical sites and enjoying street food during their travels.
“Those type of experiences is exactly what San Diego has to offer, and this campaign will be key in getting that message out to potential visitors to ensure San Diego has strong visitation throughout the busy spring and summer months so our tourism industry can continue its ongoing recovery,” Coker said.
The spring media buy for “Happy and You Know It” will focus on sports programming as it aligns with San Diego’s outdoor and wellness attributes. Aside from the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament held at Torrey Pines, TV programming highlights will include two spots in the Super Bowl’s pre-game coverage, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, NCAA March Madness, NBA regular season as well as other primetime programming in select markets.
The “Happy and You Know It” campaign will use a multi-media approach including television, digital, radio, and billboards that will reach western regional and national audiences with a focus on the key markets of Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Sacramento. The SDTA expects the campaign to deliver 250.4 million impressions over the course of the next five months.
The development of the new “Happy and You Know It” campaign is the product of extensive brand research that the SDTA and its advertising agency, The Shipyard, conducted over the last year. Focus groups consisting of leisure travelers in California, the West, Northeast, Southeast and Midwest were interviewed to determine how attitudes and perceptions of the San Diego brand have evolved throughout the pandemic. The clear findings were that San Diego has a well-defined brand with focus group participants describing the destination as a “feel-good, friendly, vibrant place that is both laidback and lively,” said Kerri Kapich, SDTA’s chief operating officer who oversees its marketing efforts.
“The vibe and the product are in complete alignment with consumers sentiment, travel motivators and what is emotionally connecting them with a destination,” Kapich said. “San Diego’s brand has emerged stronger than it was before the pandemic, which means we have an opportunity to attract more visitors with our sunny skies and positive outlook.”