South African city, Cape Town, simulates a five-day visit via Facebook, complete with status updates, photos, and videos.
Cape Town Tourism teamed up with Virgin Atlantic and Ogilvy PR Agency, to design a digital campaign that promotes tourists to explore the organic parts of Cape Town, South Africa, hoping thousands of Facebook users would fake a trip to the city. The My Cape Town Holiday campaign invited users to construct a hypothetical itinerary and send their Facebook profile to Cape Town,' without ever leaving home.
The goal of the campaign, aside from inspiring more real trips to Cape Town, was to highlight the 'unexpected side of the city' that would-be travellers might miss during a cursory search on Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet. Many of the photos and videos featured local businesses, less known landmarks, and hole in the wall restaurants, hoping to drive real-life visitors to off-the-beaten-path destinations, in hopes that more tourist dollars and pounds would be spent in the places of Cape Town that need it most.
After signing up for the 'trip', Facebook users tailored an ideal 5-day vacation based on their favourite activities, selecting from options like Outdoors & Nature, Sports & Adventure, Food & Drink, and Arts & Culture. Then the holiday simulator took over, peppering the users' timeline with status updates, photos, and videos from a holiday in Cape Town.
Ogilvy created 150 first person, point-of-view videos, 400 status updates, and more than 10,000 photos to create a well-rounded, if entirely made up, vacation. The campaign received 580,000 impressions and 41,000 monthly visits to the Cape Town Tourism site. Table Mountain, a landmark featured in the campaign, reported the highest volume of visitors in 83 years.
The Cape Town campaign was a fun way to engage people with visual and social content revolving around the city, and likely inspire participants - and their jealous friends - to consider a trip to Cape Town. The Cape Town Holiday campaign changed some perceptions of the destination by highlighting the overlooked gems. The campaign was successful in attracting significantly more tourist from all over the world to Cape Town as a vacation destination.