Whether it’s eating, drinking, sight-seeing or adventure-seeking - most tourism companies concentrate on telling you what there is to do in a particular location.

Discover LA’s latest campaign is taking a different tack, by choosing to focus on the feeling of a place instead. 

It’s an interesting approach, and one that I think works quite well. Here are a few reasons why.

Movie inspiration

There are a lot of movies about cities, but there aren’t many that celebrate a location quite like La La Land. Unsurprisingly, Discover LA has jumped on the bandwagon, taking inspiration from the movie and mimicking its celebration of the city’s sweeping skyline.

The first video from the campaign, ‘Magic’, is so far the most reminiscent of La La Land. It features a dance troupe performing against the backdrop of a twinkling, dusky Downtown skyline, complete with a view from Griffith Observatory.

Arguably then, the best thing about Discover LA’s campaign is its timing – cleverly coinciding with the film’s release and subsequent 14 Oscar nominations. 

However, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, the campaign’s cinematic (and rose-tinted) view of LA is bound to leave you feeling a little captivated – or nonplussed at your own less-than-glamorous surroundings at the very least. I particularly like the fact that the videos feature no talking or background narration. 

In contrast to a previous tourism campaign from Visit California, which featured a host of people humble-bragging about their laid-back lifestyle, the videos are far more enjoyable to watch.

Based on consumer opinion

Discover LA has traditionally used the real-life experiences of local residents to inform its marketing campaigns, incorporating insight about what makes life in Los Angeles so special.

This latest campaign is no different, however this time it uses the opinions of people from elsewhere. The brand reportedly undertook in-depth focus groups in nine key global markets, including the UK, in order to find out why travellers are drawn to the city. From this, it discovered that most people cited the feeling or the lifestyle of LA as the most intriguing part. 

This is another reason why the campaign feels so refreshing. Instead of promoting the city in a stereotypically ‘Hollywood’ fashion – or the ‘millennials want experiences’ angle - it focuses on the overarching (and sometimes unexplainable) atmosphere.

In turn, it recognises that the city is a genuine travel destination for Brits based on a wide range of reasons – not just its recent movie incarnation. 

Social media integration

Lastly, Discover LA’s use of social is particularly impressive – specifically how its uses Instagram to provide extra value for users.

By choosing to post its ‘Discover LA’ videos directly within Instagram, it manages to ensure greater reach.

Meanwhile, not only are the posts beautiful to look at, but the brand often includes detailed descriptions too. This helps to counteract the feeling that the campaign (and Instagram as a channel) is more shallow than informative – one which merely emphasises what’s on the surface.

By including content in this context, Discover LA manages to strike a good balance, both informing the user as well as visually capturing their attention. 

Related reading:

Nikki Gilliland

Published 22 February, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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