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How Tempest Helped Huntsville, Alabama, Reach New Heights With An Impactful Digital Marketing Campaign

The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau partnered with Tempest to achieve galactic goals and secure a quantum leap in leads through paid media and programmatic advertising featuring creative assets inspired by the destination's unique relationship with the cosmos.

In a strategic move, a new campaign for Huntsville, Alabama, sought to elevate lesser-known local experiences while maintaining the spotlight on its iconic U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the destination's space exploration heritage. In addition to generating awareness and positioning the region as an optimal choice for leisure visits and conferences, corporate meetings and other gatherings, the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau also hoped to secure qualified leads, build audiences and drive referrals to their local business partners.

Interstellar Storytelling

In order to support the campaign's creative needs and secure new assets that could be used in both print and digital applications, a destination photoshoot was planned with the goal of capturing experiences not currently featured in Huntsville's asset library. Under Tempest's direction and spanning 12 locations in just two and a half days, the photoshoot highlighted some of the destination's biggest draws for both leisure and business travel — outdoors, unique event venues, breweries and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center — and captured immersive, cinematic images in dramatic, wide angles that accommodated multiple aspect ratios and left space for illustrations and content.

Using the new photography as a base, Tempest's in-house creative team explored creative ways to pair Huntsville's rich outer space heritage with its earthly experiences and benefits. The infusion of custom space-themed illustrations, coupled with conceptual headlines, served as a fun and playful bridge to connect Huntsville’s well-established identity to its more discreet yet equally captivating attractions. Headlines from the campaign were directed to different travel personas, communicating that every Huntsville experience is rooted in the same adventurous spirit and dedication to excellence that helped man successfully land on the moon. When featured digitally, these playful animations would move and interact within the space to help catch visitors eyes and increase engagement.

Multi-Million Dollar Mission Control

Utilizing Tempest's trade desk access, the campaign ran on a combination of programmatic direct and private marketplace (PMP) deals with high value publishers such as Southern Living, Meredith, TripAdvisor, USA Today, and Pandora. Campaign messaging was also delivered via paid search and paid social activations — optimized monthly by Tempest's performance marketing experts — as well as placements in niche print publications in the meetings and small group planning space.

Tempest's media plan strategically split campaign spend evenly between both meeting planner and leisure travel audiences, while employing A/B testing across various creative executions to optimize response rates and conversion KPIs as the campaign evolved throughout the course of the engagement. The results were meteoric, with Huntsville.org receiving over 325,000 web sessions during the year-long span of the activation (September 2022-September 2023). The initiative also generated 382 visitor guide requests, 93 newsletter signups, nearly 16,000 partner referrals, and a noteworthy 58 Meeting RFP submissions, reflecting its effectiveness in engaging and converting diverse audience segments.

Interested in learning more about Tempest's creative and performance marketing capabilities and how they can help your destination secure qualified leads and inspire action from travelers and meeting planners alike? Contact our team today!