Today, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® launched its latest African-American marketing initiative—the key component of which is a documentary-style travel video series hosted by Philly native Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots. The five-episode series, dubbed We Got You: Philly by Tarik, taps into the power of a national celebrity, pairing Trotter with trendsetting influencers to show off Philadelphia. The videos will be promoted across all of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s marketing channels to gain video views, visits and, of course, hotel stays.
Part of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign, the series is viewable online at visitphilly.com/wegotyou. Digital advertisements that drive viewers to watch the videos will also appear across websites such as Essence, Madame Noire and YouTube.
“VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s latest African-American campaign recognizes and takes full advantage of the trends in digital storytelling—focusing on food, culture, public art, history, the outdoors and shopping—and the new channels available to attract this travel-ready market,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA.
The Research & Strategy Behind It:
In 2015, VISIT PHILADELPHIA commissioned Ipsos, a global market research firm, to conduct national African-American traveler research. The study showed that African-American travelers seek fun and affordable experiences, local and independently owned stores, walkability and vibrant restaurants.
The black travel movement also informed the campaign’s direction. In recent years, dozens of social media accounts, media outlets and community groups were created to promote the black travel experience through authentic storytelling and stunning photography.
“We’re tapping into the energy of the black travel movement in our newest campaign inviting African-American travelers to visit,” said Jenea Robinson, senior media relations manager, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “The videos have an insider feel that will resonate with this audience and spark word-of-mouth and social sharing from residents, visitors, media and influencers. As far as we know, no other destination marketing organization is speaking to African-American travelers in this way.”
VISIT PHILADELPHIA created the series in partnership with two Philadelphia-based creative agencies: Skai Blue Media, led by VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Rakia Reynolds, and the Palette Group. The Palette Group developed the campaign’s creative concept around the key idea “We Got You,” and pulled it through in striking new photography and digital With Love advertisements. Skai Blue Media brought in New York-based Fictionless and helped VISIT PHILADELPHIA bring the We Got You concept to life in video format.
Fictionless, a production company with strong relationships with top-tier brands and digital content distributors such as Refinery 29, Viceland and MTV, directed, filmed and edited the video series. The company was selected based on its style, aesthetic and experience.
Seven trendsetters join series host Trotter throughout the episodes. These people were chosen for their influence outside of Philadelphia and with VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s target audience:
- Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter (Host): Philly native and co-founder of The Roots
- Luvvie Ajayi: The New York Times bestselling author
- Tai Beauchamp: entrepreneur, TV personality and style influencer
- Rakia Reynolds: founder and CEO of Philly-based Skai Blue Media
- Dustin Ross: actor and media personality
- Danny Simmons: abstract artist and gallerist
- Vanessa Simmons: TV star and entrepreneur
- Cory Townes: Philly native and entertainment editor of Cassius
The Media Buy & Additional Marketing:
According to Nielsen, African-Americans spend more time on video and consume more social media than the general population, and it’s important for VISIT PHILADELPHIA to reach visitors in these spaces.
The video series and new creative messaging will be supported through various paid efforts appearing on high-profile partner sites such as Essence, Madame Noire and YouTube.
Through a programmatic digital buy, the ads will reach African-Americans online and potentially appear on sites such as Ebony, The Root, Complex, Travel + Leisure, Hypebeast and TripAdvisor. College-educated African-American travelers who are interested in visiting an urban destination, earn more than $75,000 annually and live in the New York, Washington DC or Philadelphia areas make up the target audience for this campaign.
Visit Philly’s social media channels will distribute the videos through paid and organic posts, and the series can be viewed online at visitphilly.com/wegotyou.
In addition to the ad buy, social media posts and online landing page, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s public relations team will support the series by continuing to engage with black travel outlets like Blavity, Nomadness Travel, Parlour Magazine and Soul Society.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.