It’s no secret we are very proud of the “Firsts That Last”SM campaign we created and produced for longtime client Visit North Carolina. We’ve also been grateful for how well the work has been received by our peers and recognized at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s Adrian Awards and Charlotte AAF Awards

Now we’re on pins and needles in anticipation of the U.S. Travel Association’s Mercury Awards next week. “Firsts That Last” is one of three finalists in the Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign – State Marketing Budget > $10 million category, alongside the highly regarded Travel Oregon and Travel Michigan campaigns.

“Firsts That Last” features real-life travelers making their first visit to North Carolina and the rich, captivating first-time experiences they have on their tripsElements include short films documenting first-time trips, compilation TV spots, print ads, online video, digital executions and more. It’s also accompanied by a dedicated section on VisitNC.com highlighting how visitors can experience similar trips of their own. 

Traveler response was strong, with site traffic in target media markets up 85% during the initial 2018 run, which is 17 times the nationwide growth rate. People also spent more than 1.9 million minutes watching the film content, averaging nearly 80% duration viewed, and the campaign generated a 1.9 times Arrival Lift as soon as 30 days after launch – meaning those who saw it were almost twice as likely to visit North Carolina than those who didn’t.