Two separate campaigns from DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, have failed to generate the increased business sought by the Bermuda Department of Tourism. So advertising that started this month relies more on magazines and less on spot and cable TV. Spot radio remains a major part of the media mix.
BERMUDA'S BIGGEST INDUSTRY
Tourism is Bermuda's largest industry, and the department-hoping to boost traffic by 25,000 U.S. visitors during the 1996 season-tried a campaign themed "Let yourself go." But when the season ended, Bermuda had attracted only 3,000 more Americans, a 2% increase, said Terrett West, chairman of the tourism department's marketing committee.
"We're still not satisfied with the numbers of people coming to Bermuda," Mr. West said. "We were up slightly last year, but with a new campaign we expected better results."
Instead of relying on a new creative approach this year, the tourism department is shifting the media emphasis for its $10 million budget. Bermuda officials, along with the agency, surveyed travelers and their viewing and reading habits following disappointing '96 results. "We found they read more than they watched," Mr. West said.
Consumer print will rise to 40% of total spending from around 25%, said Pat Phillip Bassett, assistant director-marketing at the tourism department. TV will drop to 20% from 30%.
Most of the remainder will go to spot radio in Atlantic markets that account for the most traffic to Bermuda, Ms. Bassett said.
Outdoor advertising will be used in New York and Boston; also new to the mix are direct mail and public relations.
IN FASHION TITLES
The print schedule has added fashion and lifestyle publications, including Elle, Town & Country, Metropolitan Home, Forbes, National Geographic Traveler, Outside and Departures, Ms. Bassett said. Also to be included will be golf, scuba and bridal titles. These join Gourmet, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, Food & Wine, Sailing World, Cruising World and Sports Illustrated.
Although the "Let yourself go" ad theme continues, new print ads will include sports-oriented themes and tout Bermuda's proximity to the U.S., as well as the price of a Bermuda vacation.
Price has never been included in the past, Ms. Bassett said.
"There is a perception that Bermuda is a very expensive destination," she said. "That remains one of our biggest challenges."
MORE CHANGES NEEDED
Though the 1996 campaign helped dispel the islands' "staid and stuffy" image, there's more change to be accomplished, Ms. Bassett said.
The Bermuda government also expects to sign a contract with the Monitor Group, a Boston-based management consultancy, that will help the government, private industry and labor to better package tourism, Ms. Bassett said.
The effort will be funded by industry and government, and will include a review of the tourism department's marketing efforts.
"They'll look not just at tourism, but at the way this island works," she said.