Beyond the massive casino floors, celebrity chef restaurants and designer hotel rooms of Las Vegas there is … well, the entire state of Nevada. It is the seventh-largest state in America, and yet most people who visit its most popular city rarely bother to travel beyond the confines of the four-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip.
Much of Nevada consists of large swaths of desert, but tucked among the cacti are a number of ghost towns, fascinating critters, striking mountain ranges and one of the most isolated national parks in the U.S. (Great Basin National Park).
To draw attention to what Nevada has to offer beyond the obvious draws of Las Vegas, Travel Nevada (the state’s tourism arm) partnered with the BuzzFeed website, which sent two of its editors, Alix and Dane, on a five-day roadtrip around the state to explore some of these overlooked areas. Along the way, the two published a number of blog posts rich with photos on BuzzFeed and integrated social media interaction into the trip.
A snapshot of the campaign from Dec. 17 through Jan. 22 included the following:
• BuzzFeed.com/Nevada received 118,000 views.
• Original content was shared 4,615 times.
• There were 1,686 “likes” on the Instragram content.
“What we loved about the partnership with BuzzFeed was that the length of the partnership and the various elements allowed us to showcase with frequency different facets of travel to the state, from the ghost towns to the skiing,” said Claudia Vecchio, director of tourism for Travel Nevada.
The feedback from the partnership was overwhelmingly positive, but one of the most surprising things from a local’s standpoint was the reaction of other locals. “Beautiful … I need to venture out of Vegas more often,” tweeted a local publicist.
And perhaps that’s what’s best about a marketing campaign like this. Certainly it’s in Travel Nevada’s best interest to promote the state beyond the Strip, but when it also encourages those insulated within the city to explore their own backyard, as well, that’s a huge benefit to everyone living in Las Vegas and beyond.
Travel Nevada is hopeful that getting people to talk about what lies beyond the casinos, restaurants and hotels will encourage them to peer beyond the city lines, and that perhaps it will also encourage those who aren’t interested in any of Las Vegas’ glitzy draws to venture into the vast state of Nevada.