Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Wins Prestigious Cannes Lion Award for Second Year in a Row

Thursday, June 30, 2016 | 9:07am

CANNES, France, June 29, 2016 –  For the second consecutive year, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has received international accolades for its advertising and marketing campaign, earning a Silver Lion in the Creative Data category for the “Tennessee Vacation MatchMaker” digital advertising campaign at the 63rd Annual Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France.  The campaign also earned a Bronze Lion in the category of Digital Craft.

Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s “Born in Bristol,” a 53-minute documentary profiling the 2015 recording of Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, produced in partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, earned shortlist honors in the category of Film Craft – Use of Licensed or Adapted Music—one of only 216 out of 2,328 entries to earn that distinction.

Last year, Tennessee Tourism earned a Bronze Lion for its “One Minute Vacation,” cooperative marketing campaign, making the Volunteer State the only repeat winner in the Creative Data category in Lions Innovation competition history. Cannes is the world’s largest annual awards show and festival for the creative communications industry.

“Tennessee Vacation MatchMaker” was selected from more than 713 Creative Data and 1,142 Digital Craft entries submitted. Within the Creative Data category, 73 entries were shortlisted, with 40 entries receiving Lions (21 Bronze, 13 Silver, 5 Gold and one Grand Prix winner). There were 97 entries shortlisted in the Digital Craft category, with 50 receiving Lions (26 Bronze, 14 Silver, 9 Gold and one Grand Prix).

The Tennessee Vacation MatchMaker leveraged the power of data and technology to provide prospective Tennessee visitors with targeted pre-roll video commercials created just for them. In the time it takes to load pre-roll, MatchMaker analyzed millions of data points about the viewer—her location, browsing history, purchase behavior, music interests, social media activity and more—then scanned a matrix of hundreds of video clips of Tennessee activities to find matches, editing a commercial perfectly aligned to her interests in real time.

The campaign served 44 million videos, generated more than 327,237 hours of video exposure, and a 46 percent increase in Tennessee Tourism’s website traffic. Ninety-three percent (93%) of people surveyed said the ads inspired them to take a vacation to Tennessee within the next year.

Additionally, the ads generated a click-through rate three times greater than the industry average, with 53 percent of viewers watching the complete video. Viewers also shared 13,645 custom travel itineraries via social media, earning even greater engagement with prospective Tennessee travelers.

“Recognition from any avenue for Tennessee’s advertising campaign is an honor, but to receive a prestigious Cannes Lion two years in a row is truly special,” said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “What makes this acknowledgement even more extraordinary is the validation it brings. A lot of work has been put into reaching potential Tennessee guests by telling our story in a creative, impactful way. With the style we look for substance, and that is and what has been achieved with VML and our tourism industry partners in attracting more visitors, creating more jobs and generating more revenue for the state. We are very pleased to see the results of both the style, through awards like the Cannes Lion, and substance with more guests to our great state.”

“The Soundtrack of America: Made in Tennessee is an incredibly strong brand, and it’s an honor to be recognized internationally by our peers for the great creative work,” said Jon Cook, VML global CEO. “Incorporating technologies like VML did with Vacation Matchmaker has enabled our marketing dollars to work harder and more efficiently for Tennessee.”

According to the 2014 Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee, as reported by U.S. Travel Association, tourism generated $17.7 billion in direct domestic and international travel expenditures in 2014, an increase of 6.3 percent over the prior year. In 2014, tourism-generated jobs for Tennesseans reached 152,900, an increase of 2.8 percent. State and local sales tax revenue for the industry topped $1.5 billion, up 7 percent over 2013—the ninth consecutive year tourism topped $1 billion. International travel increased 8.4 percent, reaching $576.5 million in economic impact. Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel, achieving 101.3 million person stays in 2014, a 5.1 percent increase over 2013 as reported by D.K. Shifflet & Associates, a national syndicated and custom travel research company.

# # #

ABOUT THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT:

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is to motivate travel to and within Tennessee by inspiring enjoyment, creating memories, producing a desire to return, and establishing key long-term relationships that result in visitors becoming residents. The promise of Tennessee—the birthplace of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll—is to be the global music destination of choice. To deliver an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”

Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

RECOMMENDED TWEET:

Matchmaker @tnvacation campaign wins Silver and Bronze at #CannesLions 2016.