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August 27, 2018

Maine Office of Tourism earns National Award for marketing efforts

Photo / Maine Office of Tourism, Mark Fleming
Photo / Maine Office of Tourism, Mark Fleming
Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism, receives a Mercury Award from the U.S. Travel Association, recognizing for the second straight year its marketing campaign to encourage more visitors into Maine.

For the second-consecutive year, the Maine Office of Tourism's marketing campaign has received a Mercury Award from the U.S. Travel Association for "excellence and creative accomplishments in destination marketing and inspiring the continued development of imaginative promotional programs."

The U.S. Travel Association announced the recipients of the 2018 Mercury Awards at its 35th annual ESTO conference (the Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations), held recently in Phoenix, Ariz. The Mercury Awards recognize excellence in destination marketing on the state level in twelve categories.

The Maine Office of Tourism received a 2018 Mercury Award in the category "Broadcast Advertising: Television" for Maine's "This is me." TV campaign launched in 2017.

For the campaign, the tourism office executed a large-scale in-state video production to capture the unique stories and perspectives of Mainers pursuing their daily lives. The goal of the campaign was to inspire those from away to experience the simpler and enchanting Maine lifestyle. The "This is me." TV campaign featured a variety of Mainers, from a windjammer captain, to an island innkeeper, to an urban rock climber.

"For this campaign, in addition to sharing some of the many things for visitors to do in Maine, we wanted to communicate the transforming nature of these experiences," said Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. "Our research shows that this approach helped increase ad effectiveness, resulting in a 7% increase in visual-aided recall of the 'This is me.' campaign compared to the previous campaign,"

The TV campaign ran in key spot markets of Baltimore, Charlotte, Hartford, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., as a primary touch-point of the overarching "This is me." integrated media campaign.

A judging panel of marketing experts from organizations including JPMorgan Chase, Hylink North America and the University of South Carolina selected the winners.

Among the judges' reactions:

  • "Maine did a great job conveying emotional connections and the destination."
  • "Viewers are drawn in by the images and particularly the videos."
  • "The children in the videos are heartwarming, and the locals are authentic."
  • The videos are marvelous."

Examples of the "This is me." TV campaign ads can be accessed for viewing online here.

The Maine Office of Tourism received a 2017 Mercury Award last year in the Social Media category for a 2016 Instagram Influencer campaign, and two Mercury Awards in 2014 in the "Travel Website" and "Digital Campaign" categories for VisitMaine.com and for the related Maine Thing Quarterly e-zine site.

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