In an effort to attract new audiences to its waterpark
resorts and sites, the Wisconsin Dells Visitor &
Convention Bureau has launched a $7.2 million marketing
campaign this summer.
The promotion was announced in the wake of record- high
gas prices and a growth spurt of waterpark resorts in new
destination areas such as the Pocono Mountains in
Pennsylvania and even greater Chicago.
However, neither are the main reasons for the new
marketing campaign, said Melanie Platt-Gibson, marketing
director of the Wisconsin Dells-based bureau. The higher
gas prices would only add about $20 to a vacation, which is
hardly a deterrent in relation to the entire cost of a
trip. And competition is a non-issue, she added.
So the campaign?s purpose is to reinforce the
Dells? image as a national vacation spot and to
help it grow as a convention destination. ?Other
areas ... can?t replicate the same type of
experiences that visitors can have right here in the
Wisconsin Dells,? Platt-Gibson said, noting the
natural sandstone rock formation along the Wisconsin River
that other destinations lack.
Through focus groups, visitor interviews and online
research, the bureau developed a widespread campaign
intended to reach as many as 25 million people nationwide
via traditional and new marketing channels. Specific
targets are the Hispanic market in nearby metropolitan
areas and stay-at-home mothers.
The bureau is tapping into new magazines and Web sites
read by those audiences. It also redesigned its own Web
site to be more user-friendly.