Central Coast Works Together

“…the positive results of this campaign show the true power of collaboration.”

Working together to send a collective tourism message to the world, the members of the Central Coast Tourism Council (CCTC) have reached new heights of success, proving that innovative thinking and unique teamwork can see a quieter region band together to compete with San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego for the world’s attention.

“We applaud the members of the Central Coast Tourism Council for working together,” said Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California, the state’s tourism marketing organization. “Their marketing is both simple and innovative, and the positive results of this campaign show the true power of collaboration.”

CCTC has reached new heights of innovation and success by branding and marketing the Central Coast region as a top California destination, offering visitors an alternative to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The CCTC represents Destination Marketing Organizations, hotels and attractions on California’s Central Coast, an area of exceptional natural beauty and often undiscovered charms located between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s not always easy for the CCTC’s all-volunteer board (comprised of representatives from Central Coast towns destinations) to get the word out. When it comes to California, the Big Three—Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego—get most of the global attention. Smaller communities like those on California’s Central Coast—Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Ventura—aren’t competing with the Big Three, they are just offering visitors something vastly different. A quieter, more affordable experience, on empty beaches, in family-owned wineries, and at uncrowded farm-to-table restaurants.

To rise above the crowd, CCTC worked in partnership to create an innovative collaborative marketing strategy. This took cooperation, brainstorming, fundraising, and innovation. One big component was the hiring of Reno, Nevada-based marketing agency Noble Studios to oversee a first-ever marketing campaign aimed at three key feeder markets in the Northeast—New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Conveying the vast area of the Central Coast and encouraging visitors to slow down and explore the Central Coast was vital to the messaging. Noble Studios came up with a campaign named “It’s About Time”.

“It’s About Time. Time to ditch your feed. Time to explore 350 miles of the world’s most stunning coastline. Time to disconnect from your day-to-day. As The Original Road Trip, all the Central Coast is asking you to do is one thing: take the time. If you take the time, it will give you the time you need. And it’s worth every second.”  

The relaxed California-vibe messaging resonating “It’s About Time” is complemented with stunning Central Coast imagery to connect with East Coast residents. The campaign runs through April, but has already garnered happily astonishing results. In just over three months (October 2019 through January 2020), the marketing effort notched over 7 million impressions and 40,000 clicks between both digital and social media campaigns.  The change in traffic from the year before? Roughly a 1500 percent increase.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Brian Tucker, Executive Director for Ventura County Coast, and a CCTC member. “That’s what happens when you work as a team, focused on a unified vision to achieve a common goal. Together, anything is possible.”

What shouldn’t be lost in the numbers, the Northeast campaign has reached an older demographic than CCTC has reached before; visitors who tend to have more disposable income and more time off to spend it.

The CCTC has capitalized on a simple truth, as old as the first communities that banded together to thrive (and often survive). Let’s do together what we can’t do on our own. Nor is the Northeast marketing campaign CCTC’s first innovation. From gathering members together to sit at the same table, to attending trade shows as a united team, the CCTC has done things that are wholly unique, in the process fostering full-speed ahead momentum. And this momentum is only expected to build.

“It’s exciting to see all the hard work of the Central Coast Tourism Council pay off in a unified brand and successful digital and PR campaign launch in the Northeast, and that’s only the beginning,” said B.C. LeDoux, Managing Director of Noble Studios, the company overseeing CCTC’s marketing efforts. “But it’s not just about marketing numbers, and maybe that’s why the marketing has been so successful. The Central Coast is one of the most amazing destinations in the world, and it’s about time it is recognized for that.”

Pulling together as a region. Because more isn’t just merrier, it’s mightier.

See the campaign here.

February, 2020