As Covid entered its second year, the leadership at the Bermuda Tourism Authority made the conscious decision to use the travel freeze as an opportunity to step back and reassess their brand. Bermuda has an incredibly strong character, but not many people in the United States know "what it's all about." Bermuda needed a "hook." They wanted an answer for how to solve the country's proximity problem. "It's only 90 minutes from NYC, why don't more people come," they asked. It may have been a trick question, but we blew their minds when we came back and said "the distance doesn't matter if you're not giving people a good enough reason to want to come." We promised that we'd focus on showing a complete picture of the country's culture. It helped that our founder is Bermudian, otherwise, we wouldn't have known about this whitespace.
Although Bermuda has name recognition, our research found that the country was not a top-of-mind destination for most people looking for an island vacation in the near future. Similarly, the things people want out of an island vacation (according to our primary research) are all the things Bermuda does really well, but familiarity with those offerings lagged well below our respondents' interest levels -- so we knew we had the considerable task of showing people what it's really like to visit Bermuda. It was very important that we thought of our work as a nation-branding exercise, and not just a tourism campaign.
After repositioning and brand updates were made, our team crafted a global campaign to launch Bermuda post-pandemic. The campaign idea "Lost Yet Found" is a wink to the myths surrounding Bermuda. This campaign challenges potential visitors to have a sense of discovery and self-realization. We wanted to capture Bermuda in new and unexpected ways. Our language and designs were colorful and attention-grabbing. The campaign encourages vacationers to explore authentic Bermuda, not just as a tourist destination but as a country. The island is luxurious, but it’s so much more than that. Beyond beaches and coastal scenery, you’ll find a rich history and vibrant culture.
When we spoke to residents and travelers with close knowledge of Bermuda's true pros and cons, we discovered how Bermuda's best qualities are the gracious residents, and the local flavors, sights, sounds, and activities. But, our findings brought us to the reality that there is low familiarity with the activities the island has to offer and that the number one traveler need is exploring places or having experiences that are new to them. Our research included phone interviews & online quantitative surveys with 600+ Bermuda Residents, a survey of over 3,000 would-be travelers, 30+ Stakeholder interviews across Bermuda, America, and Europe tourism professionals & culture mavens, along with a deep dive on cultural trends, audience, and competitive landscape through secondary research.
The campaign features various elements, including a series of brand activations and social media posts, video production, messaging and brand positioning, newsletter creation, research and strategy, tagline development, and website design, amongst others.
One of our favorite brand activations was a totally immersive experience of the “Glass Truck” which showcased everything that Bermuda has to offer through a multitude of on-board video backgrounds and captivating audio. From underwater scenery to island landscapes to outdoor festivities, this series of “live” virtual experiences transported potential travelers directly to Bermuda from the streets of focus cities like Boston, Miami & New York. To activate our “Lost Yet Found” campaign, we invited visitors aboard the bus to partake in a digital scavenger hunt to find branded phrases hidden within the digital experience for a chance to win a free trip to Bermuda.
Additionally, in order to capture captive travelers, we branded airport security bins in some of our key target markets–but not in the traditional way. In addition to the standard interior branding on the bins, we had the bins produced in Bermuda Pink; an eye-catching and unconventional way to garner attention. We leveraged the bins to push out messaging specifically targeted at air travelers and amplify the mystery and wonder of exploring off the beaten path in Bermuda and inviting an adventurous and culture-soaked experience. We placed the bins in some of our key east coast target markets including Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Miami.
Beyond the beautiful work and creative brand activations, there lies the truth, in statistics. To date, the Lost Yet Found campaign, which is still active, has accounted for 738 Arrivals (via Arrivalist Data). The campaign utilized a multi-channel approach and delivered 57.8MM Impressions and 118.5k clicks against paid media with 17.9MM video views at an 80% Video Completion Rate.
The campaign also incorporated innovative digital out-of-home and experiential experiences, reaching over 90.8MM people throughout NYC, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, and Charlotte. A Brand Lift Survey on Facebook and Instagram also showed a positive lift across all categories (Ad Recall, Awareness, Abstract Favorability).