Utah is so much more than its world-famous Mighty 5 national parks. With overcrowding in and around the national parks regularly making front page news combined with a stubborn perception of Utah as a state lacking in diversity, we took this opportunity to highlight less-traveled pockets of the state and the diverse people that make them well worth a visit.
With a focus on responsible travel, Let’s Talk Utah Season 3 sought to promote dialogue and build enthusiasm around lesser-known but no less spectacular experiences in the state's southern region. Intended for both out-of-state visitors and locals, the series allowed new voices to proudly share their Utah experience and be a part of unique, unforgettable itineraries that rival a traditional national park vacation.
The most important factor in making Let’s Talk Utah Season 3 a success was getting enthusiastic buy-in from the local communities we would be highlighting. With overcrowding top of mind for people who appreciate the natural beauty and solitude of their surroundings, we had to work to alleviate their concerns about tourists exploring their backyard. We made responsible, sustainable travel practices a core pillar of the content (i.e., Leave No Trace, hire local guides, shop with local outfitters), ensuring travelers positively impacted the communities they visited.
In addition, we wanted to use this platform to elevate voices and perspectives that visitors don’t normally think of when they think about Utah. We specifically chose our 3 local advocates at the center of each video to share their passions and personality through their expertise while offering accessible, unforgettable adventures to all who visit. This gave us the freedom to tackle topics that some other DMOs may not feel comfortable addressing. Importantly, we also wanted to align these stories with key itineraries in Utah so we could drive further consideration via the website.
Building off of what we learned in Seasons 1 & 2, we found that our target audience was most likely to discover this content on Instagram Reels. So we took a social-first approach this season, shooting in the vertical video to make the best use of the platform.
Let’s Talk Utah Season 3 helped showcase a more expansive, diverse side of the state and the people who call it home. The campaign brought a strong, social-first POV to exploring itineraries, inspiring potential visitors to step off the well-trod path to discover new, rewarding experiences. With over 65,000 video plays to at least 75%, these stories brought some much-needed, compelling storytelling to areas around the state that would otherwise be just another bullet on a list of “things to do.”
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