The state of Florida’s official marketing corporation, VISIT FLORIDA, says it’s getting better at reaching people in the millennial generation. For the second year in a row, VISIT FLORIDA sponsored a live popular music event in Miami.
The iHeartRADIO Ultimate Pool Party was in June. It was a who’s-who of today’s hottest music acts and was broadcast on The CW, a network with a lineup including “Vampire Diaries” and “America’s Next Top Model.” And Florida wants the attention of their audience.
VISIT FLORIDA Chief Marketing Officer Paul Phipps says, “The iHeart really was a great way to engage socially with millennials about how exciting it is to experience Florida.”
He says, as tourism spending by baby boomers drops off, the state is focusing on starting a conversation—at least online—with the generation born between the early '80s and early 2010s. That conversation, he says, is focused on the nightlife and natural beauty the state has to offer.
"In some respects, millennials look at it as a place their grandparents go to retire, or it’s where they went when they were 10 or 11 going to a theme park," he says.
For the Ultimate Pool Party event, VISIT FLORIDA asked attendees to tweet using the hashtag #LoveFL. Their tweets were broadcast in a scroll above the music stage that could also be seen on TV. And four 20-something-aged lifestyle bloggers from large cities including New York and L.A. were brought in to cover the event. The total reach for the marketers’ message is estimated to be 73 million impressions, or views.
VISIT FLORIDA spokeswoman Lucy Spann says that social media engagement number is an improvement from the first year the agency sponsored the music fest.
"With social media and the digital age, millennials have options. Not that previous generations didn’t—but they have options, and we just want to make sure that Florida is on their radar and it’s one of their options they consider," she says.
And while retweets don’t necessarily translate into immediate tourism spending, Spann says the real goal is to get young people thinking about Florida whenever they do get around to planning a vacation.