Within 100 miles of Washington DC, Shenandoah County is more than a world away in terms of wide open spaces, a slower pace of life and a welcoming spirit. However, there is some brand confusion between Shenandoah Valley and Shenandoah National Park. So Shenandoah County had to put a stake in the ground to differentiate itself from its neighbors. And at the same time, position themselves as the go-to destination for the DC area.
The theme of nostalgia emerged from focus groups with one participant saying, “You set your clock back 100 years when you get to Shenandoah County.” The sense of escape is paramount, and visitors find themselves able to connect with nature and each other with unparalleled hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. In addition, with a burgeoning brewery and winery scene, visitors are able to enjoy sophisticated cuisine and libations in quintessential American small towns.
Allowing Shenandoah County’s natural beauty to be the star of the show, we focused on breathtaking landscapes and activities, while encouraging visitors to “Find Your Way Back.” Shenandoah County is not only a place to visit, but it is a destination that allows you to return to the essentials that matter: laughing out loud, wide open spaces, feelings you’ve missed. We created a brand video for use on YouTube and social. The campaign also runs on programmatic display, social and paid search.
With a campaign launch in fall 2020, “Find Your Way Back” has driven increased visitation to the Shenandoah County site. Hotel and restaurant visitation has also been steady considering both the pandemic and the off-season. The campaign will launch in full force next spring to encourage visitors to get outside and visit responsibly.