Discover Boating campaign brings in new boaters

Last spring, Discover Boating set out to engage the next generation of boaters while continuing to retain newcomers and legacy boaters through its ‘See You Out Here’ campaign. Supported by a comprehensive marketing strategy, the campaign made an impact in attracting younger, more diverse boaters as demonstrated by the 145% increase in website visitors ages 18-44 and 31% increase in female users compared to pre-pandemic levels. More than 1.2 billion impressions were delivered (the number of times the campaign was served to consumers), and the campaign helped drive more than 4 million visitors to and 1.5 million manufacturer referrals.

“To grow participation in boating and increase market share, we have to evolve and diversify who we are speaking to, and that means engaging new audiences in an authentic way,” said Kevin Williams, Vice President of Marketing for NMMA. “Rooted in extensive research, our approach to ‘See You Out Here’ was designed to do just that by executing strategic initiatives and partnerships that connect with our growth and emerging target audience segments, ultimately bringing more prospective boat buyers into the fold.”

Discover Boating engaged nexgen and diverse boaters by meeting these audiences where they consume content whether that was through paid media and strategic partnerships with ESPN, VICE, Telemundo, Ebony, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok as well as public relations efforts, public service announcements and high-profile influencers.

Highlights of the campaign’s success include:

  • Strategic Media Partnerships
    • Established strategic media partnerships with ESPN, Ebony Media and VICE to leverage their ability to help authentically tell Discover Boating’s story. 
    • Interest in sports is a common thread among our target audiences, which is why the brand partnered with ESPN. In addition to ESPN’s digital platform and streaming services, Discover Boating was featured on the popular morning show, First Take, and the ‘Anthem’ spot aired during that segment making the exposure even more impactful.
    • Ebony Media is one of the one of the most highly trafficked platforms and respected media within the African American community. Discover Boating executed two activations with Ebony including The Coolest Black Family video series as well as an on-water event on Martha’s Vineyard.
    • The ‘Anthem’ and ‘Hooked’ spots ran on VICE TV, a leading network among 18-34-year-olds reaching 65 million homes. A custom short documentary was also featured helping Discover Boating invite the next generation to experience life on the water.
  • Relevant Content
    • Refreshed creative and delivered relevant content that resonated with the next generation from visuals to how-to pieces, list-format articles and the new Dealer Finder. The website had a 31% increase in female visitors and a 145% increase in users ages 18-44 compared to pre-pandemic levels.
    • Digital display ads proved to be a successful tactic in drawing more diverse audiences to the website as there was an uptick among African American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander visitors.
  • Earned Media Coverage
    • Discover Boating strategically connected with national consumer lifestyle media that resonate with the brand’s target audiences to help amplify our message; secured more than 3,000 placements in outlets including ESPNMen’s JournalForbesThe List and more.
    • Gained additional brand exposure through television public service announcements (PSA). The campaign spots aired on hundreds of local and regional TV stations across the country more than 15,000 times, which translates to $2.8M in donated media value.
  • Influencer Partnerships
    • Partnered with dozens of Instagram and TikTok content creators and launched a pilot TikTok campaign to connect with the nexgen audience in an authentic way. The #BoatAppetit and #WaterWear TikTok campaigns generated 600,000 viral video views in the first two days and had an average engagement rate of 13% (the industry standard is 10%).
    • Generated nearly 50 million impressions and 2 million engagements, indicating the content was interesting to followers. Influencer partners included: @AmberTorrealba@BrownPeopleCamping@sailingcerebral_@Spurweezy and more.
  • Social Media
    • Increased consumer interest across social media platforms, generating more than 80 million impressions and 900,000 engagements. Additionally, social ads delivered results 390% over the benchmark, and ad click-throughs were 53% above the industry standard.

“As we work to maintain post-pandemic momentum, the ‘See You Out Here’ campaign came at the perfect time and helped elevate the industry’s voice to reach more potential boat buyers,” noted Matt Gruhn, president of MRAA. “To appeal to the next generation of boaters, we need to make them feel welcome on the water, and all the aspects of the campaign evoke that sense of inclusivity and community that will help draw more people to boating.”

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