Last week, the Art Directors Club of Denver honored an inventive series of Facebook ads by PILGRIM as one of the region’s top advertising campaigns. But the story of how the ads came to be has garnered almost as much attention as the campaign itself.
When the federal government shut down last October, the action forced the closures of two crown jewels of the national park system: Wyoming’s Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Within 48 hours, tens of thousands of people who had traveled from across the country to visit these two iconic national parks were literally turned back at the entrances and sent home.
Realizing that PILGRIM’s client Visit Laramie had a captive audience already in Wyoming and searching for other destinations to visit, the PILGRIM team went into action. Within a couple of days they had created a complete Facebook campaign letting these stranded visitors know that the breathtaking scenery surrounding Laramie offered the perfect alternative to their Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons vacations. Next they began posting the campaign ads on Visit Laramie’s Facebook page, creating a new ad for almost every day of the shutdown.
The tiny ads were wildly successful. In the first ten days of the campaign, Visit Laramie’s Facebook page saw a 17% increase in Likes. The most popular post was shared by 82% of fans, and generated over 3600 likes, comments & shares, with a total reach of over 42,000 people. The posts were also picked up by several Wyoming news channels, the Visit Wyoming website, and NPR.
The PILGRIM team responsible for creating the campaign included Andy Mason, art director, Anne Macomber writer/creative director, and Pattie Welch, account director.