The Alaska Travel Industry Association is running a cable TV marketing campaign with four ads that are airing on the TLC reality show Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Discovery’s Deadliest Catch along with other shows on tv.
Two of the ads have already been aired, and the third one, based on Alaska Tourism’s tagline of ‘Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach” is about to air.
The ads show people photographing glaciers, wide angle shots of cruise ships, visitors watching grizzlies salmon fishing, and so on. The fourth ad is still under production. The ATIA apparently paid $600,000 for producing the ads.
Considering that former Gov. Sarah Palin was doing some of the same things in her show, it’s a good bet that the tv audience for her show will connect with the ads and generate a good response rate. Besides, the demographics for the show’s audience and Alaska’s standard visitor profile matches to a great degree.
According to the ATIA 2010 Travel Intentions study of inquiries that convert to actual visits, 67% of Alaska visitors are married, with an average age of 64 or thereabouts and an average income of around $70,000. According to Nielsen research, the median age of the TLC audience for Sarah Palin’s Alaska is 57.
Alaska Tourism is able to spend so much on the ads because Gov. Sean Parnell upped the TV ad budget from $1.2m to $6.1m for the current fiscal year. For FY2010, Alaska Tourism tv commercials were seen or heard 836 million times, and magazine ads were seen by 44.5 million subscribers. The state sent over 3.1 million direct mail packages with a message from Gov. Sean Parnell.
As a result, consumer visits to TravelAlaska.com increased by 15%, and Alaska travel stories were published in 377 publications with a combined circulation of 66 million. 20 million US consumers are now categorized as highly likely to visit Alaska in the next 5-7 years.
ATIA President Ron Peck tells Bloomberg that visitor numbers improved in 2010 and are expected to go up some more in 2011, so he hopes the state continues with the same level of enhanced funding in the future.