Marketers feel good about Blue World |

Marketers feel good about Blue World

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

About a third of those who have seen Blue World ads recall seeing them.

For the advertising world, this means that blue should translate into green for Lake Tahoe tourism-related businesses.

The advertising agency that released the landmark campaign for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority six months ago put some preliminary results in black and white at its board meeting Thursday.

Mering & Associates learned that 32 percent of 3,476 respondents polled on line were aware of the $2.5 million ad campaign that represents a clear departure from past efforts from the lake’s largest tourism agency.

The question was asked: “Do you recall seeing advertising about Lake Tahoe?” No other prompt was given to lead the respondent.

About two-thirds of those polled make up the managerial-professional job classes.

Mering Account Director Paul Whitbeck said he was pleased with the results.

The campaign was designed as an image-building promotion — not a direct marketing effort. It’s intended to last over time in positioning Lake Tahoe as a hot spot for the destination traveler. This is a tourist who extends the stay to more than the weekend jaunt as many of the travelers from drive-up feeder markets like Sacramento and San Francisco.

Over half of those surveyed said the ad “presents Lake Tahoe in a new or unexpected way,” the research showed.

At 15 percent, Lake Tahoe rated lower than Las Vegas, Hawaii and San Diego but higher than Yosemite in terms of those people “definitely planning a trip.”

The number climbs to 35 percent — second to only Hawaii — when prospective travelers were asked if they would consider a trip here.

The Blue World is all about blue and all about the lake. The campaign, with print and television advertising, features a dominate blue as a means of giving the reader or viewer an emotional connection to the lake. Images show young people having fun involving the lake.

“We continue to recommend you focus on the lake because we want to make it iconic,” Whitbeck said, responding to LTVA board member Carl Ribaudo’s inquiry to that effect. “We did very well as an individual destination.”

The presentation followed a media overview from the Sacramento-based agency, which is asking the LTVA to consider three options for 2003-04. They range from $1.1 million to $1.7 million, varying by the extent of coverage in summer magazines. The $1.7 million option is the only with proposed installments on cable television in Los Angeles.

LTVA Executive Director Bill Chernock said Thursday the board may select the media budget by the end of the year.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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