GBI marketing material being fine-tuned.

CHICAGO - Armed with industry and consumer feedback to the preliminary creative developed for the Grow Boating campaign, marketing materials are now being fine tuned in preparation for airing in early 2006, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said earlier this week.

“The preliminary creative was warmly received when it was presented to consumer focus groups and during the All-Industry Meeting at the Miami International Boat Show,” NMMA vice president of Marketing and Communications Carl Blackwell said. “While we will never receive 100 percent consensus for the campaign, we realize some changes do need to be made. Carmichael Lynch [the marketing agency of record for Grow Boating] is now reviewing the feedback they have received since the meeting and is using it to develop the final marketing materials.”

Blackwell said the campaign is still in its infancy, and that much work has been done in a short period of time. Carmichael Lynch began developing the campaign in November 2004 and started presenting Grow Boating print and broadcast ads to focus groups by late December.

“It is important to keep in mind that the advertising campaign is targeting non-boat owners interested in boating, so the final product will not look like traditional endemic boat advertising,” said MasterCraft president and CEO, and Grow Boating Marketing task force chairman John Dorton. “It has to break through the clutter and inspire non-boat owners who might be attracted to boating to take the next step of visiting their local marine dealer or to visit”

All advertising creative will be tested with the campaign target audience to ensure intended messages are received by consumers, NMMA said.

While the marketing campaign moves forward, NMMA said the Grow Boating team continues to make progress on other initiatives of the campaign. The initial dealer certification program is underway, with a completed program slated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2005. A beta program will be introduced in the coming months that will involve approximately 25 dealers, representing various dealer sizes, to test the capabilities and potential limitations of the program.

Meanwhile, the Grow Boating Initiative is raising consumer awareness of the NMMA Certification program this summer, launching an extensive advertising campaign one year before the association requires all of its boat manufacturers to be certified.

The advertising campaign will explain the benefits NMMA Certification brings to boating and consumers, including the fact that boats that are NMMA Certified are 15 times less likely to be involved in a USCG recall (according to the latest figures available from USCG).

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