The Destination Marketing department leads all marketing initiatives set forth by Visit Greater Palm Springs (Visit GPS) and works collaboratively with the Brand, Destination Development, Partnership, Convention Sales, and Tourism Development teams to ensure an effective and cohesive message across all media elements.
While the department’s marketing efforts usually take a global approach, the changing travel landscape due to COVID-19 restrictions shifted Visit GPS’s goals and strategy in 2020 and 2021. A larger emphasis was placed on the nearby drive markets as well as markets with year-round nonstop air service to Greater Palm Springs.
Full advertising campaigns resumed in 2021, including the summer “Check In. Chill Out.” campaign, which included television, out-of-home, digital advertising and social media, along with partner television co-op advertising and a co-op program with Visit California. The summer season expanded outside of the drive markets to also include year-round nonstop fly markets like Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City and Denver.
This October, Visit GPS’s latest campaign launched with new messaging – “What Will You Find in Greater Palm Springs?” This new campaign works as an evolution and extension of the “Find Your Oasis” brand, encouraging travelers to explore and enjoy what resonates most with them in our destination. This new campaign will continue to promote visitation throughout the fall and winter of 2021/2022.
Summer Campaign 2021
In May 2021, the CVB’s annual summer campaign began with several new and re-launched programs. The campaign included branded television spots, partner co-op television, digital outdoor billboards, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Travelzoo, SpaFinder, Adara, Centro, Edge Media, Nativo, Pandora streaming radio, iHeart Radio, Weather.com, Palm Springs Life, co-op advertising with Visit California, and the promotion of the Summer Eats Pass, which features deals and offers from local restaurants in Greater Palm Springs.
For advertising examples and more information, view our summer deck.
The CVB’s annual Summer Chill television co-op ran from May-September 2021. Partners included the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa Indian Wells, Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, The Omni Rancho Las Palmas, The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, the City of La Quinta, and Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.
In October 2021, television advertising expanded from summer targeting (drive markets and year-round nonstop air service markets only) to include seasonal markets. Updated brand television spots launched with both generic and market/airline-specific tags in select locations.
Out Of Home
Digital outdoor billboards run year-round in Los Angeles and San Diego. Seasonal markets are added in the fall and include San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and Minneapolis. Dedicated billboards also run in Los Angeles and San Diego promoting select upcoming destination events.
Expedia is one of the top performing advertising programs driving bookings to Greater Palm Springs – in 2019, Expedia reported a $223.4 return on ad spend, meaning that for each dollar invested into the campaign, $223.40 in Expedia bookings were generated by people exposed to our advertising. While these numbers have been impacted by COVID-19, return on ad spend numbers steadily remained over $100 throughout the pandemic, demonstrating the importance of the Visit GPS’s investment in this campaign.
Expedia was one of the few advertising programs that resumed in June 2020 and continued to run on a limited basis throughout the fall and winter of 2020. The campaign continues to run year-round with updated creative messaging, which is currently showcasing the new “What Will You Find?” tagline.
TripAdvisor is one of the largest travel resource sites and along with Expedia, was one of the campaigns that continued to run throughout 2020 on a smaller scale in an effort to influence travelers researching future stays. This campaign also runs year-round to support awareness of Greater Palm Springs as travelers research and plan their trips.
Travelzoo reaches consumers searching for travel deals and provides them with overall destination information as well as Partner offers at no cost or commission. The Travelzoo campaign resumed in September 2020 and has continued to run seasonal campaigns throughout 2021.
The latest campaign launched in October 2021, featuring offers from several partners, including the DoubleTree by Hilton, the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa Indian Wells, Hotel Zoso and BMW Performance Center West.
Adara and Centro run targeted and re-targeting ads to consumers across a network of websites during their usual online browsing.
Q. Digital is a new LGBTQ-targeted advertising program that launched in October 2021 and will continue year-round.
SpaFinder's seasonal campaign, which usually runs during the fall season, began in April 2021 to support destination spas that were reopening after the Stay-At-Home order was lifted. This campaign ran from April through October 2021.
Visit California Co-Op Programs
In 2020, Visit California launched a series of cooperative advertising programs to encourage in-state travel in California and to maximize advertising dollars during the critical reopening phase. Visit Greater Palm Springs participated in this first series of co-op advertising from September to December 2020 with Expedia, Adara and Pandora. From June-September 2021, Visit California co-op advertising ran with Expedia, Adara, TripAdvisor and Sojern.
Visit GPS will continue running co-op advertising through Visit California on Expedia, Adara, TripAdvisor and Sojern beginning in January 2022.
The CVB continues to bring awareness of Greater Palm Springs as a vacation destination and drive intent to travel through the VisitGreaterPS, dineGPS and VisitCADesert social media channels in 2021. The CVB is inspiring travel by sharing content focused on returning events, Health & Wellness, Outdoor Adventure, Arts & Culture, Culinary and local happenings as campaign pillars for the remainder of 2021. Content focus has also shifted to prioritizing Instagram Reels for sharing things to do in Greater Palm Springs.
Advertising includes support to media campaign initiatives such as the Bandwango passes and the What will you find campaign.
COVID-19 Response & Recovery
The CVB has created several programs since March designed for both the local community as well as visitors, including public service announcements on television and digital billboards, the “Safer Together. Greater Together.” Pledge campaign, Oasis at Home, and more.
For details on all of the CVB’s COVID-19 response efforts, please view our COVID-19 Response & Recovery page.
Safer Together, Greater Together Pledge
The Greater Palm Springs CVB launched the “Safer Together. Greater Together” Pledge in June 2020, highlighting the safety practices that local businesses and tourism partners are implementing to ensure that the destination remains healthy, positive, and inclusive for both visitors and residents. In order to increase awareness of the Pledge to the drive markets, a digital advertising campaign was launched in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County this summer, along with a local campaign within the Coachella Valley. Drive market advertising continued until the December Stay at Home order was implemented.
More information as well as ad images can be viewed on our COVID-19 Response & Recovery page.
Love Local Campaign
In December 2020, the Love Local campaign launched, promoting local restaurants and retail establishments, as well as attractions and activities that were open under the current health and safety guidelines. This campaign aims to encourage local residents and nearby day trip consumers to support Coachella Valley businesses and shop locally during the holiday season and beyond through digital advertising, print and digital via The Desert Sun and Palm Springs Life, and local billboards. For more information visit the Love Local campaign page here. [Hyperlink can stay the same]
In February 2021, Visit GPS also began a partnership with Bandwango to create free, downloadable mobile passes promoting local businesses. Consumers who download the passes and check-in to participating locations are eligible to win prizes. All campaigns are supported by a full advertising campaign that includes digital display ads, social media, newsletter placements and more. Passes have included:
- Trailicious Hiking Pass – Promoting local hiking trails and takeout/outdoor dining from February 2021 – May 2021.
- Summer Eats Pass – Promoting restaurants and featuring dining deals from June 2021 – September 2021.
- Love Local Shopping Pass – Promoting holiday shopping at local retail stores from October 2021 – January 2021.
- Coming Soon: Health & Wellness Pass – Promoting wellness-related establishments like yoga studios, spas and more beginning in January 2022.
While Convention Sales advertising was paused beginning in March 2020, the CVB continued to communicate with meeting planners about the destination via newsletter updates and virtual events.
On July 14, the CVB launched “gpsREBOOT: A VirtuWELL Series For You,” a new virtual series showcasing Coachella Valley health and fitness leaders and businesses. This series not only gave meeting and event planners helpful wellness tips and information to incorporate into their routines, but also provided them with inspiration to consider Greater Palm Springs for their future events.
The second gpsREBOOT series, “gpsREBOOT: Art & Sol” launched in November and focuses on arts and culture offerings in Greater Palm Springs, continuing to engage meeting planners and educate them on all that our destination has to offer.
Convention Sales advertising resumed in March 2021 in anticipation of the return of meetings and conventions. The 2021 media plan includes advertising with ASAE, CalSAE, Centro, Conference Direct, Connect, CVENT, Helms Briscoe, Northstar Meetings, PCMA, Smart Meetings, USAE, and social media via LinkedIn.
If you have any questions about these opportunities or would like to discuss further, please contact:
Dana Fury, Senior Marketing Manager | email@example.com | 760.969.1345