Building A Campaign To Celebrate Charleston’s Newest Award

In case you haven’t heard, Charleston was recently awarded the #1 Small U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler for the eighth year in a row! We thought it only fitting to help our friends at the Charleston Area Convention And Visitor’s Bureau put together a campaign to celebrate! After talking with the CACVB, we landed on wanting to nod to the reason Charleston has become so decorated in awards in recent years: the warmth, spirit and kindness of the people that call our city home. We thought it would be great to tell the story of why our locals love Charleston and to introduce potential visitors to the city through the the eyes of these locals. As more travelers are seeking authentic travel experiences, it only makes sense to share authentic glimpses into real Charlestonians daily lives.

Enter: Black Tomato. The timing for this effort was great because the CACVB had just partnered with the Black Tomato Studio to produce ten beautiful videos featuring the stories of Charlestonians. So now, our job was to use these amazing assets in every way we could to bring this campaign to life. The most important piece of the campaign was the website components. We wanted the website to reflect the award announcement as soon as it happened – so right at 9:30am on Tuesday, October 11th the website switched over to display a new homepage. Upon load, the homepage displayed copy about the award, a random ambient video cut of a local from our library and a call to action to point users to the microsite we created. We liked programming this to pull a random video upon load so that when visitors returned to the homepage they could have ten different experiences keeping each visit interesting. Here’s what the homepage looked like:



The microsite landing page which can be viewed here, also pulled random local videos upon load and introduced each of our ten local who all have their own landing page supporting the ability to watch each local’s video in full and explore some of their favorite places in Charleston.



We also created a ton of new ads across the Google Display Networks, Facebook and Instagram to tease out this campaign and to bring more visitors to the microsite we had created. One of my favorite of these ad we created was the Facebook Canvas ad. This includes some really neat features including a video tilt to pan option which allows the user to tilt their phone to move left and right through an actively playing video. It’s more fun when you are the one holding the phone, of course, but to give you an idea of what this would behave like, there’s a screen recording below.


You only win #1 Small U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler for the eighth year one time – so why not go all out with a campaign to celebrate?