Visit Hot Springs plans to implement a mostly digital, four-phase "Rebound Marketing Plan" of about $447,300 to promote Hot Springs and its businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
If there is a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in the county during the promotion, Visit Hot Springs Marketing Director Bill Solleder said the "beauty" of digital advertising is that it can be "turned on and off" and they can "add dollars to it, and take away dollars," with just the "push of a button."
"If the citizens of Arkansas don't pay attention to social distancing and the guidelines that the governor and health department have laid out, and we begin spiking ... again and the governor does start shutting things down again, which is a real possibility, we will pause the campaign," Solleder said.
Phases one and two of the marketing plan are being conducted by the Visit Hot Springs marketing team with a $47,300 budget. Phases three and four are being conducted by Little Rock media company CJRW with a $400,000 budget.
The phases are as follows:
• Phase one: The Touch State Reminder Campaign.
• Phase two: The Local Campaign.
• Phase three: The Statewide Campaign.
• Phase four: The Key Feeder Market Campaign.
Solleder said all of the start dates for the phases are "tentative," as they are "dealing with a moving target."
Phase one, which is about a three-week campaign set to launch Sunday, encourages the idea of "Plan now, play later." It will market to Memphis, Dallas, Shreveport, Tulsa, Springfield, Mo., Monroe, La., and northwest Arkansas.
The phase one campaign will market on Google Search, Google ADs, Bing Search, Bing ADs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Phase two, which is about a six-week campaign set to launch May 18, encourages the idea of "The Best Vacation in Town." It will market to Garland County.
The phase two campaign will market on Google Search, Google ADs, Bing Search, Bing ADs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, The Sentinel-Record and US Radio Stations.
"It's basically a 'staycation' idea and we're going to encourage people to safely get out and visit our restaurants and even let us make the bed for you," Solleder said. "Why not get away for a while, get yourself a weekend babysitter and check into a hotel here in Hot Springs?"
Phase three, which is about a two-month campaign set to launch May 24, will market statewide to northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Little Rock and Texarkana.
The phase three campaign will market on Google Search, Google ADs, Bing Search, Bing ADs, AP&T Coop, Arkansas.com, Expedia Travel Network, Amobea Travel Network, TripAdvisor, Mobile Fuse Ad Network, Pandora, Podcast One, Hulu, Ampersand, cable TV, Coop TBA, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and on two Little Rock billboards.
The phase four campaign, which is set to launch sometime between August and October, and run through Dec. 31, will market to Memphis, Dallas, Shreveport, Monroe, Tulsa, Springfield and Tyler/Longview. It will market on State Co-op, Google Search, Bing Search, Cable TV, Billboards, Radio, Google ADs, Bing ADs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
"It's really fun; it's a very upbeat campaign, it's exciting, it's meant to like get people amped up and ready to go out to experience Hot Springs," Solleder said. "I mean, what better place to go vacation than right here in the best backyard in Arkansas?"Local on 05/07/2020