Focus: College Students
While director of interactive at The Atkins Group I had to joy of working with a great group with the challenge of inviting college students to South Padre Island. This task came to us after they had a stint of low revenue and occupancy due to bad economic times. The question was how do we reach the most potential spring breakers with the region and upper mid-west corridor with a reduced budget.
I had a few pretty cool website designs to show South Padre Island (SPI), but I felt that we needed to break the mold of the traditional site. I wanted to make the user feel like they were at the island even thought they were just visiting the site from a dorm room in Nebraska. I decided to use large full screen background images that really show what its like during SPI spring break. The images are supported by the word “BE” and in “BE YOURSELF”, “BE AWESOME”, etc. We made a simple navigation that was complemented by a dynamic weather indicator.
That year’s Spring Break proved to be one of the busiest in 10 years. The Atkins Group proposed the right mix of intrusive and invitational media, combined with very impressive creative work, that rolled out in a timely manner and has come in under budget. This work resulted in the highest seasonal, monthly and daily web visits to the Spring Break website ever. For the traditional campus postings in 70 markets, we engaged in a total of more than 2,400 hours of Spring Break messaging through the QR code. The new mobile website engaged more than 15,000 visitors in over 3 minutes worth of messaging. And the website lead generator provided hoteliers with more than 1,000 responses. The Island received more than 40,000 students for the month of March spending more than $250 per visit, which equaled more than $10,000,000 in revenue for the City. Occupancy levels on the Island were higher than any season in the previous 10 years. Occupancy was up 21% and revenue up 14.5% over the previous year.
The website design also landed a Silver Addy Award.