MDCE 2012: Discover Boating plans movie-theater ads

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Welcome to the Water is adding a screen.

The Discover Boating program, which has been so successful on Facebook that Facebook did a case study on the program to ask how it was able to grow so fast, is going to market-test 30-second videos in movie theaters in 2013.

“Imagine that on the big screen, with Dolby surround sound — if I could add misters in the room spraying to give people the full experience, I would do that,” said Carl Blackwell, marketing and communications manager for the Discover Boating endeavor. “Think of the magic that happens on the cinema screen. That’s something we want to capture this year.”

The program will test the idea between April and June in at least 20 states, Blackwell told attendees at his update on the Discover Boating effort at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla. The market tests are necessary because the endeavor is “not inexpensive.”

“It will be the best of all the video we have,” Blackwell said. “We want to take advantage of all the bells and whistles of the cinema.”

In the last year mobile video views grew 958 percent over the prior year and the Welcome to the Water videos outperformed others in mobile video clicks. 

The MovieMaker app has resulted in 11,000 consumer videos being made and has been added to more than 115 industry websites.

“It’s really 11,000 consumer-generated endorsements of Welcome to the Water,” Blackwell said. “We are going to leverage our existing creative assets. I’d rather put the money toward buying more media and expanding on proven tactics. We like to be a little ahead of the curve — not too far ahead. We want the consumers to be there with us.”

Video is the secret weapon for the boating industry, and Discover Boating wants to get it out as much as possible.

“Video is really going to be the centerpiece of our advertising campaign, as it was last year,” Blackwell said.

Connected TV has enabled the initiative to get those videos on TV screens, where they probably have more impact than on a mobile device. By 2016, 70 percent of TVs sold will have the capability to connect to the Internet, Blackwell said, which he thinks is a conservative prediction.

“That allows us to advertise through this platform, and we can run our spots before they go to their Facebook page,” Blackwell said.

Completion rates for people who watch the whole spot without clicking off has beaten every other advertiser on the platform, including companies such as McDonald’s and State Farm, Blackwell said.

“What happens when you step off the dock and look back and see the harbor there, that’s magic,” Blackwell said. “Boating really changes you, and that’s the message we’re trying to get across.”

Read more about Discover Boating and the dealer conference in January’s Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes

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