Proving New Jersey was Stronger Than The Storm

Stronger Than The Storm Case Study

The Situation

On October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey. Particularly hard hit was the Jersey Shore. Consumers were inundated with coverage of the devastation, pretty much 24-7, for weeks following the storm, with the roller coaster in Seaside Heights sitting in the ocean becoming an iconic image of the destruction. Although the state and federal government, along with the business sector went right to work repairing the damage and restoring the beaches immediately and had the shore ready to open, research indicated that 70% of consumers in the area and feeder markets believed that the Jersey Shore was closed. Not good news for an industry that contributes $39Bn to the state and supports over 300,000 jobs.

What We Did

We needed to move at lightning speed to make sure that vacationers knew that the Jersey Shore was back and open for business. Awarded the assignment in the beginning of April, we had very little time to get the word out before the critical Memorial Day weekend. With our deep expertise in Travel & Tourism, including years spent on NJ Tourism, we quickly developed the “Stronger Than the Storm” campaign, which captures the strength and resiliency of New Jersey and its people. We developed 360 degree content honed to maximize the inherent value in every channel. Media amplification was critical, and in 10 days we planned and bought a multi-DMA effort, which included NY, NJ, PA and DE, as well as Canada and a robust Hispanic effort. We kicked off a week before labor day.

The Results

One week after our campaign launched, a Rutgers Eagleton poll showed that 70% of consumers in NJ knew that the shore was back and open for business. That shot up to 94% two weeks later. Vacationers came back to the shore, stayed longer and tourism revenue hit an all-time high of $40.4Bn, eclipsing pre-Sandy levels.