NIAGARA FALLS – With only a couple of weeks left in a regional marketing campaign, Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. is hoping the investment pays dividends for this summer’s tourist season.
The tourism promotion agency is spending $69,000 on a campaign to promote the region in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Erie, Pa., and Pittsburgh; as well as Syracuse and Rochester.
The campaign includes television and radio commercials, as well as video and banner ads on various news websites and other sites geared to a target demographic of 25- to 44-year-old women with children.
Binghamton also was included in the Internet portion of the campaign.
That demographic profile is the “most accepted” for destination marketing organizations, Jeff Pease, the agency’s director of marketing and communications, said in an email.
The demographic of women between 25 and 44 who have children “is proven to be most influential driver of vacation and entertainment spending for families and couples,” Pease said.
A 3-minute video was produced by Trellis Marketing, of Kenmore, and various clips from it were used to make a variety of commercials.
The regional campaign, which started in early May, targets potential visitors roughly within a 4-hour drive of Niagara County, Pease said.
The goal of the campaign was to get potential visitors to visit Niagara-USA.com to book their trip.
The agency budgeted $95,000 for local and regional marketing this year, a figure that includes $69,800 for the regional campaign and $25,000 for a local one.
The agency budgeted more than $100,000 for local and regional marketing campaigns last year.
Last year, the agency spent more money on it because promotion for Nik Wallenda’s walk over the gorge at the falls was also included, Pease said.
The Falls averages about 8 million visitors a year, said Michelle Blackley, the agency’s communications manager. The number of visitors who came to Niagara Falls was up by 7 percent last year compared with 2011, tourism officials announced last fall.
In terms of how this year’s campaign looked compared with last year’s, tourism officials tweaked the visuals – more images of the falls, focusing on promoting Niagara-USA.com, as well as the agency’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The regional approach has “worked well in the past,” Blackley said.
Aside from the regional campaign, the agency also recently had four billboards promoting the region locally.
The four billboards were located in Niagara Falls: near the intersection of Hyde Park Boulevard and Seneca Avenue; on Porter Road near Niagara Falls International Airport; near Interstate 190 on Builders Way; and near Niagara Falls Boulevard and 56th Street.
So far this year, promotion for the region has also come from an international perspective.
On May 13, federal officials, including Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced that Niagara Falls and the Niagara region would be part of an international marketing campaign. As part of the effort, Niagara will be added as a “trip idea” to the New York State page of Brand USA’s Discover America website.