Millions of Chinese travelers love California, but have very low awareness of San Diego as a key California destination. Despite its appeal to American travelers, San Diego struggled to attract Chinese travelers, citing low brand awareness and proximity to larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. With peak summer travel season nearing, San Diego Tourism Authority needed to overcome this challenge by increasing brand awareness and boosting room night sales.
Capitalizing on the peak summer season, San Diego launched the campaign 45 days before the travel season began on seven media platforms to educate, engage, inspire, and convert travelers. SDTA’s brand concept, “Gem of California” launched consumer direct advertising in China across video, programmatic, native, and display, completely digital-driven and measurable. San Diego was the first U.S. city-level Destination Marketing Organization to create a localized video commercial specific for China. Targeting young families, the commercial captured a modern Chinese family’s trip to San Diego and was shot like a home video from the point of view of the gem of Chinese families: the daughter.