New $8 million tourism campaign launched to promote San Diego as a 'happy destination'
Speaker 1: (00:00)
As much of the country shivers under a blanket of snow and ice, the site of San Diego's sun and beaches might be very enticing. That's what the San Diego tourism authority is hoping as it launches a new 8 million ad campaign. That includes a TV commercial with lots of happy, sunny San Diegos. So if
Speaker 2: (00:20)
You are happy and you know, it, throw your hands up and show it if you happy and you know, it clap your hands. And if you love the like living, go ahead and dive in and shake like you mean it, do it.
Speaker 1: (00:39)
The, if you're happy and you know, at TV spot will run during super bowl. Pre-game programming, March madness and other big sports events, but it remains to be seen if the time is right for a big tourism marketing campaign, are people really ready to travel and get happy in San Diego? Joining me as Carrie K pitch. She's chief operating officer for the San Diego tourism authority and Carrie, welcome to the program.
Speaker 3: (01:05)
Hello, thank you. What
Speaker 1: (01:07)
Made the tourism authority decide that the time is ripe for people to start traveling to San Diego?
Speaker 3: (01:12)
Well, spring and summer is the peak travel season, and we are really excited that we have the opportunity to invite people to San Diego. Go to once again, enjoy our beautiful destination. We've been able to continue to market San Diego as a leisure travel destination throughout the last few years. And when we do put that welcome mat out, what we see is that people are very eager to come into San Diego and enjoy the beautiful destination that we have and the wall variety of activities that we offer. We've been able to do these things in an environment that is really respect of our community and the needs of our community, able to generate those visitor dollars while doing so in a way that is safe and fun.
Speaker 1: (01:58)
Is this TV spot playing all over the country?
Speaker 3: (02:01)
The TV spot will be mostly plane in our Western region markets, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. But we do have a layer of digital advertising that will be seen nationally. It's about 25% of the media buy. So that means that yes, you will have people seeing this across the country and seeing it while the country's really dealing very cold weather. Unfortunately,
Speaker 1: (02:25)
Now we played a clip from the TV commercial listeners can see it on YouTube, but can you describe it for us? What San Diego attractions does it show?
Speaker 3: (02:35)
So the TV spot that we have is really showing the outdoor beauty of San Diego, which is what people are looking for. When they're thinking about travel desk, Don nations, we were able to film, uh, in a variety of coastal areas and be able to also show the beauty of B Bella park. So it is a fun and lighthearted spot. Um, it takes an old nursery rhyme happy, and you know it, and it's been reinterpreted using a very, uh, fresh take on the song that was produced by a nationally recording artist. Michael Frante.
Speaker 1: (03:08)
Now this campaign seems to present a more diverse San Diego than in the past, is that right?
Speaker 3: (03:14)
We're always trying to make sure that we are reflective of what San Diego is. And as a community and as a destination, we offer a great deal of diversity. We did research last summer and people talked about regardless of who they are and where they're from, they feel welcomed in San Diego, they see themselves here. And so we wanted to make sure that the TV spot really reflected that and that welcoming spirit.
Speaker 1: (03:41)
Now we know that the various COVID lockdowns and surges hurt the traveling hospitality industry very badly. How has the industry coped with such tremendous
Speaker 3: (03:52)
Losses? It has been a very difficult time over the last two years through the pandemic. What you saw happen is at businesses worked very closely with the county of San Diego to ensure that they had safe operating guidelines in place. So whether it was a restaurant, an attraction, a hotel, or an event or a venue, everyone was trying to make sure that they were following all the right protocols, both for their employees as well. For those visitors and guests who came into their establishments. What we've seen happen is that, uh, large events and group meetings have been slower to return from a travel perspective. Individual, uh, leisure travel has certainly held up pretty well, but unfortunately we still see that visitor spending is down it's down 40%. And when we take a look at employment for San Diego in the leisure and hospitality sector, it too is down compared to pre pandemic levels. It's down by a good 15%, fewer employees.
Speaker 1: (04:54)
What kind of feedback have you gotten so far in the new ad campaign
Speaker 3: (04:57)
For the new campaign? People really are enjoying the energy G the catchy song and the beautiful images. We just had it air for the very first time during the farmer's insurance open this weekend. And what we've heard mostly is just, wow, what great timing. You've got the farmer's insurance open airing nationally. You have all these eyeballs watching live sports, and then you have this horrible web there conditions that are going on across the country. And here's beautiful San Diego, whether you're watching the golf tournament or you're seeing the TV spot. So, so far the feedback's been very positive.
Speaker 1: (05:32)
Okay. So far so good. I've been speaking with Carrie Kage, chief operating officer for the San Diego tourism authority. Carrie. Thank you.
Speaker 3: (05:40)
Speaker 2: (05:42)
The San Diego Tourism Authority launched a new campaign ad last weekend to promote San Diego as a "happy place," in hopes of attracting more visitors ahead of the busy spring and summer travel season.
The $8 million campaign includes national placement of the ad during Super Bowl pre-game coverage, the Beijing Winter Olympics and the NCAA's March Madness tournament. The Tourism Authority launched the initiative to help the leisure and hospitality sectors in San Diego make a comeback after being hit hard by the pandemic.
Kerri Kapich, chief operating officer for the San Diego Tourism Authority joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about the new campaign.
"The TV spot that we have is really showing the outdoor beauty of San Diego, which is what people are looking for when they're thinking about travel destinations," Kapich said. "We were able to film in a variety of coastal areas and be able to also show the beauty of Balboa Park. It is a fun and light-hearted spot. It takes an old nursery rhyme, '(If You're) Happy and You Know It,' and it's been reinterpreted using a very fresh take on the song."
Kapich said the hospitality industry in San Diego is still recovering from the pandemic.
"What we've seen happen is that large events and group meetings have been slower to return from a travel perspective, individual leisure travel has certainly held up pretty well, but unfortunately we still see that visitor spending is down," she said. "It's down about 40%. When we take a look at employment for San Diego in the leisure and hospitality sector, it too is down compared to pre-pandemic levels. It's down by a good 15% fewer employees."
Kapich said the TV spot will mainly air throughout Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Phoenix, but will also be advertised on digital platforms nationally.