AUGUSTA – The Maine Office of Tourism (MOT) was recognized for excellence in travel marketing by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HMSAI) at the annual HMSAI Adrian Awards ceremony on Feb.
20. Maine received two Adrian Awards, a platinum award for advertising, and a silver award for public relations. The winning campaigns were chosen out of a field of over 1,300 entries submitted for 2017.
The Office of Tourism’s “L.L.Bean Strategic Brand Partnership” entry received the highest honor, a platinum award for Advertising – Full Campaign. The MOT’s collaboration with the Met Breuer Museum to support and leverage a “Marsden Hartley’s Maine” exhibit won a silver award in the Public Relations category.
“We are delighted with the recognition,” said Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. “Maine delivers a world-class visitor experience. The Office of Tourism works diligently to showcase our state in ways that align with our brand value of ‘Originality,’ and to keep Maine top-of-mind with travelers.”
For the “L.L.Bean Strategic Brand Partnership,” MOT partnered with national outdoor retail brand L.L.Bean on a co-op marketing program. Through this partnership, MOT produced a feature edition for their editorial website entitled “Chasing the Sun.” MOT worked with BVK, the state’s tourism marketing agency, to bring a group of six millennial friends to Maine who had never before visited the state, to document their visit as they experienced a series of outdoor adventures. As a strategic partner in the campaign, L.L.Bean fully outfitted the group, provided Outdoor Discovery School experiences, and helped share the story through their own distribution channels. The partnership results included a 30 percent increase in weekly views of the “Chasing the Sun” website feature compared to earlier non-partner editions, 3 million social impressions with 900,000 unique to L.L.Bean channels, and 16.5 million email sends to L.L.Bean customers in addition to MOT’s consumer emails. The “Chasing the Sun” edition of the Maine Thing Quarterly can be viewed at www.visitmaine.com/quarterly/c
For the “Marsden Hartley’s Maine”campaign, the Maine Office of Tourism worked with Nancy Marshall Communications, the state’s tourism public relations agency, to leverage a major exhibition of the work of 20th century Post-Impressionist painter Marsden Hartley at the Met Breuer Museum in New York City. Hartley was born in Lewiston and after building an international reputation returned to his native state where he painted the compelling scenes of Katahdin and rugged coastal Maine featured in the exhibit. MOT sponsored the opening event, inviting key travel media, and executed a subsequent public relations and social media campaign that underscored how the landscapes and culture of Maine that inspired Marsden Hartley and other artists equally inspire today’s visitors to experience Maine. The campaign resulted in 132 pieces of press coverage, 288+ impressions, and nearly 50 thousand social shares. An Associated Press article alone, which focused on related “trip ideas,” had an advertising value of $1.7 million.
“The theme of this year’s Adrian Awards was ‘Be a Travel Marketing Super Hero.’ It’s fitting because the winners have all taken bold and dynamic approaches that inspire and advance the hospitality industry as a whole,” said Robert A. Gilbert, president and CEO of HMSAI.
Visit www.AdrianAwards.com for more information on the event and competition.