For the first time in state history, the Delaware Tourism Office has created a brand identity, a tagline and even television commercials designed to increase national awareness of the state as a desirable place to vacation. Ultimately, the “Endless Discoveries” brand campaign aims to boost visitation and tourism revenue in Delaware by creating an image in consumers’ minds of the state as a destination that will surpass any preconceptions.
“Tourism has a tremendous impact on Delaware’s economy, adding billions in revenue and employing nearly 39,000 people every year, yet there are millions of travelers right here on the East Coast who have yet to discover all the First State has to offer,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “The state’s new tourism brand will highlight the rich collection of historical, cultural and natural attractions that make Delaware not just a great place to visit, but the best place to call home.”
“This campaign will show thousands of Americans a side of Delaware they may not have seen before,” said Alan Levin, Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Economic Development Office, which oversees the DTO. “By expanding our reach and amplifying our message, DEDO and the DTO aim to boost tourism’s economic impact in the coming years.”
The ongoing advertising campaign is being implemented through a broad selection of media platforms, including television, radio, print and digital, and focuses on consumer markets that have concentrated populations and desirable demographics, including Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
“The challenge has always been to show others that Delaware is far more than just a place they pass through on I-95,” Linda Parkowski, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “The truth is, once they come here, people find that Delaware has more to love than they can believe.”
The brand campaign messages were specifically designed to resonate with female consumers, who have been shown to be statistically more likely to take the lead in vacation planning decisions. The campaign is expected to reach hundreds of thousands of people in 16 East Coast states.
“We wanted the creative material to connect on a personal level with people, to have a look and feel that portrayed Delaware as a place to make great memories,” Parkowski said. “We also knew it would be crucial to create a feel in the ads that we were leading them on a journey of discovery, one that would be full of surprises.”
The campaign already includes upcoming color ad placements in such national publications as Good Housekeeping, Southern Living and Oprah. Depending on funding, the campaign is expected to continue in coming years. To accomplish the goal of heightening Delaware’s visibility and image, the new brand plan starts with a logo — which features a stylized word “Delaware,” the tagline “Endless Discoveries,” and a wave-inspired graphic element in shades of blue.
“The goal was to come up with a phrase that would spark travelers’ curiosity and make them want to learn more,” Parkowski said. “The next step was to create words and images that fit that concept, and give travelers a sense that Delaware has treasures waiting to be found.”
The tagline was developed in conjunction with Delaware Tourism’s advertising agency-of-record, Miles Partnership, considered to be the top tourism ad agency in the country. The brand project also included work by Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm that conducted interviews with consumers to discover what they knew of Delaware, and what message would resonate with them. Miles and Delaware Tourism also worked on-location throughout the state to film and produce television commercials that use the state’s natural beauty and top attractions to portray Delaware as a place where travelers can embark on journeys that ultimately inspire a personal connection to the state.
“The surveys we conducted proved that consumers are curious about Delaware, and open to learning more about its beauty and charm,” said Nate Huff, Vice President of Miles. “Soon, thousands of potential visitors will have a fresh image of the state as a fun, family-friendly place. And that’s just what we were after.”