(Aberdeen American News (SD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 31--A marketing campaign designed to attract kids and families to Aberdeen is more than a year old and paid for by the Aberdeen Hotel Alliance.
The aberdeenfun.com website and larger "It's A Kid Thing" marketing campaign has been ongoing since April 2013, said Sabrina Metz, marketing and events specialist with the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The campaign, including commercials on the website, has generated a fair amount of discussion by some locals on social media in recent days. Among the topics mentioned were the cost and who covered it and the focus and quality of the campaign.
Lawrence and Schiller, of Sioux Falls, was hired to head the marketing campaign. The production, digital banner ads, website and maintenance and pre-roll ads cost $58,000, Metz said.
Randy Grismer, of the Aberdeen Hotel Alliance, said the campaign was directed toward kids and families, pointing them to the town's top attraction -- Storybook Land -- during prime marketing season.
He said the alliance put out a request for proposals, then met with all of the agencies that submitted bids, including local businesses. Lawrence and Schiller was selected after considering cost, metrics and performance, he said.
The commercials on the website also have run on family friendly television stations in the surrounding region, including other towns in South Dakota and in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, Metz said. They have appeared on stations such as Nickelodeon, ABC Family and Bravo.
"They've never played in the Aberdeen area," she said.
That's because they're geared to bring outsiders, particularly young families with kids, to Aberdeen, Metz said. They play during shows that have large kid and mother audiences, she said.
In addition to being on TV, they are pre-roll YouTube ads, she said. That means they play as a commercial before a YouTube video begins.
The Aberdeen Hotel Alliance and can use them as it sees fit, Grismer said.
When somebody clicks on a banner ad, it goes to the aberdeenfun.com website. And while the web page has a strong focus on Storybook Land, that is amplified by information about places to stay and eat and other attractions, Grismer said.
He and Metz said they like the "It's A Kid Thing" campaign and that it has won a web-marketing award.
One benefit of the campaign is that it can be used for more than one year and is still in use. After next year, Metz said, it will probably be time to try something new.
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