July '18

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144 • RV PRO • July 2018 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S J ust as RVs have evolved over time, so, too, has RV marketing. Back in 1997, when the RV industry launched the Go RVing campaign, the media budget stood at $2.9 million, with a heavy concentration of TV and print ads. In its first year, Go RVing generated 47,000 leads. The campaign tagline 21 years ago: "Recreation Vehicles: Wherever You Go, You're Always at Home." Fast forward to 2018, and the campaign has evolved to meet the demands of a growing and changing industry as well as a growing and changing audience. This year, the media budget for Go RVing stands at $20 million, with the largest portion (38 percent) allocated for digital media, followed by TV (30 percent), "experiential" (17 percent) and print (15 percent). The campaign produced more than 130,000 leads in 2017. The current tagline: "Find Your Way." Despite the shift in spending and themes for the Go RVing campaign, and the accompanying change in the age of target audience – with prospective buyers skewing younger – Go RVing has never veered from its core message. That message: An RV is the vehicle for doing the things you love to do with the people you love to do them with, whether it's a friends' camping trip at the lake, a couple's biking excursion in the mountains, or a family vacation at the beach. "The RV is always there, and it's a way to help you do the things that you're already enjoying," says Karen Redfern, vice president of brand marketing and communications for Go RVing. "That's the angle that we always try to take with the messaging – that no matter what it is you enjoy doing, the RV can help you enjoy doing it even more." Emphasizing Authenticity Although Go RVing's core message remains unchanged, it has fine-tuned how that message is conveyed. These days, Go RVing marketing strives to come across as authentic, empha- sizing real stories told by real RVers. To tap into the stories of real RVers, the Go RVing campaign has enlisted an array of bloggers whose RV adventures appear on Go RVing's "Away" microsite. Redfern stresses that these RVers come from all walks of life: singles, couples, families, African-Americans, Hispanics and so forth. Redfern says members of the digital team for Go RVing – including the campaign's marketing and advertising agency of record, The Richards Group of Dallas – scour blogs and Instagram in search of RVers who are telling their RV tales in an enticing way. "For the most part, we have followed them for a number of months, and if we like the story that they're telling and we like Go RVing 2.1 Now entering its 21st year, the marketing program has gone high-tech and "experiential" while maintaining its core mission to promote the RV lifestyle. by John Egan PHOTOS COURTESY OF GO RVING

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