We danced. We laughed. We cooked. We explored. We learned.
Two primary goals within the mission of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) are 1) to educate the travel industry, government agencies, and consumers about tours, vacation packages, and tour operators, and 2) to promote and develop travel on a worldwide basis.
To help support these goals, each year we orchestrate a richly experiential video engagement campaign as part of USTOA’s multifaceted marketing program. And over the past decade, these annual campaigns (pandemic aside) have become a cornerstone of the association’s awareness marketing. USTOA members – both tour operators and destinations – are invited to participate in the campaigns, and participation runs high each year due to the proven ROI.
Campaign themes change annually to keep the videos fresh and appeal to an ever-increasing audience. Our planning for each annual campaign consists of:
- Theme development and conceptualization of a video series that organically showcases the benefits of traveling with tour operators.
- Negotiate/establish relationship with appropriate spokespersons.
- Orchestrate internal marketing campaign to secure member participation and sell any available sponsorships.
- Manage and execute all aspects of each complex campaign, from timeline to logistics to budget and everything in between.
- Collaborate with film crew on production and editing final pieces.
- Develop and execute comprehensive marketing and PR program to promote the videos and extend the campaign into other media forms.
See above for videos from four of our past campaigns:
- Recalculating with Harrison Greenbaum: Laughter is a universal language. We sent this hilarious American stand-up comedian around the world to film a six-episode series that showcases how USTOA members help travelers explore deeper and experience the colorful history, unique culture, and distinctive tastes of a destination. The featured video above shows Harrison’s first time in Slovenia.
- Modern Day Explorers: In-depth portraits of the product managers (today’s “Modern Day Explorers”) who develop the itineraries at leading tour operators around the world. Each three-video series highlighted a different product manager’s approach to a specific destination and took viewers on an experiential journey that demonstrated how each itinerary was conceived. The above summary video shows highlights from each series.
- Why We Travel: In partnership with USA Today, this campaign showcased the emotion behind the journey when traveling. Through a series of videos, in-depth articles, blog posts and social content, the campaign interviewed real travelers and shared their experiences exploring the cultures and facets of a variety of destinations with USTOA tour operator members. The above video showcases highlights from the video series.
- Dancing with Matt Harding: At the height of “Dancing Matt’s” fame – a viral video creator who captured global attention for dancing in destinations around the world – we paired him up with nine destinations and tour operators to showcase the breadth of locations accessed by tour companies. The resulting compilation reel – shared above – is bursting with joy and vibrancy, as Matt dances with locals and travelers while engaging in cultural experiences.
Collectively, these campaigns have reached an audience of billions. With strong marketing support that includes digital advertising, public relations, social media, media partnerships, blog promotion and more, each campaign continues to build upon the strong awareness foundation that USTOA has established as part of its overall mission.