Brevard County tourism officials are hoping to drive visits to the Space Coast through a stepped-up focus on social media, targeting families with a jingle that declares, "I Need My Space."
According to Local 6 News partner Florida Today, the Office of Tourism is working with its marketing agency on a contest, asking people to create the best short video using the promotional song. The winner will get a five-day trip for four to the Space Coast, including airfare, ground transportation, hotel rooms and tickets to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
"We're really excited about this," Office of Tourism Director of Marketing Kalina Subido-Person said Monday, as details of the contest plan were announced to the Brevard County Tourist Development Council Marketing Committee. "I think it will be a fun promotion. We're hoping it's going to be viral."
Tourism adds an estimated $2.86 billion a year to the Brevard County economy and is responsible for 20,900 local jobs.
Tammy Wood, vice president of digital marketing for McBride Marketing Group, said the contest will use not only the Office of Tourism website and a specially created micro-site, but also Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, incorporating a unique social media hashtag (#ineedmyspace) into the promotion.
Wood said the concept is that entrants will create videos of up to 30 seconds of themselves, family members and friends singing the lyrics from the jingle, then upload the video to the micro-site or post it on social media. She said the contest will "encourage creativity and fun."
A selection committee will pick five finalists, and the winner will be chosen by a vote of social media users.
The two-month promotion begins July 1 and will target the North and Southeast.
In conjunction with that effort, the Office of Tourism's public relations agency, TWsquared, is working on generating some social media buzz for the Space Coast. In a joint effort with the KSC Visitor Complex, TWsquared hosted a "familiarization tour" of Brevard last weekend for five "mommy bloggers" — travel writers who focus on family vacations.
The idea is that the bloggers will spread the word about the Space Coast to their readers.
The agency also has two widely followed family travel experts/mommy bloggers lined up to help work on a summer market blitz in the Atlanta, Jacksonville and Orlando markets. The promotion will focus on "vacations that pack a punch," touting "authentic thrill rides," such as kayak racing, kite-boarding, surfing and zip-lining.
TWsquared account manager Emily Kruse said the bloggers will "share their real-world tips on planning active, easy, outside-the-box vacations for families with kids ages 7 to 14." They will be featured on English- and Spanish-language media in those markets, which are prime areas for attracting people to the Space Coast.
The Office of Tourism has not abandoned traditional media, though. During Tuesday's Marketing Committee meeting, Chip Eickmann, vice president of business development for McBride Marketing, debuted a preliminary version of the Space Coast Office of Tourism's new 30-second television commercial.
The commercial features the "I Need My Space" jingle with a twist. The new ad has aerial footage taken from a drone flying over Space Coast attractions, including the Brevard Zoo and Port Canaveral, and also features the beaches, golfing and surfing. The KSC Visitor Complex and its space shuttle Atlantis exhibit also are prominent in the ad.
The tagline: "Florida's Space Coast: Your Space for Fun," playing off both the area's space heritage and its outdoors attractions.