Targeting the first-time boat buyer: Discover Boating uses new tactics

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DiscoverBoatingConnected TV[1]

The Discover Boating media campaign last week launched for the summer season, employing new tactics with the goal of turning viewers into first-time boat owners. The campaign has a $9 million budget and will take a more targeted media approach, including using “micro-influencers,” according to Carl Blackwell, president of Grow Boating, who oversees the media blitz.

“Our advertising and public-relations efforts are designed to reach the first-time boat buyer,” Blackwell told Trade Only Today. “We’ll do that by using micro-influencers who really hone into the outdoor segment. These folks have strong, dedicated followers that number up to six million.” The YouTube influencers include Devin Super Tramp, BlacktipH and Knorpp and South.

Blackwell said Discover Boating has also produced ads for news websites like CNN and Fox News and will channel into connected television from Roku, Hulu and Apple TV for the first time. The ads are intended to reach a target demographic from 25 to 49 years old.

“Connected television is a growing category,” says Blackwell. “We can show our videos on the ‘big screen’ of a person’s television sets but it will also tap into apps on their phones as well. Research shows that many people watch television while they’re on their phones. So if a person is watching a Disney commercial on on their television, we can retarget them with a Discover Boating ad on their phone.”

The goal of this year’s campaign, says Blackwell, is to bring a younger potential boat buyer to the Discover Boating website. “The average age of a boat buyer is 58, so we’re trying to get younger people as buyers.” has been “revamped” to provide an improved user experience, said Blackwell, with more detailed information about the costs of boat ownership, including a Boat Loan calculator. “Our studies show that with more added content, they’re more likely to stay on the website and do more research on boat buying,” says Blackwell

The website gets 5 million visitors each year, says Blackwell, and three million of those visitors are then referred to boatbuilder websites.

The campaign will run into September. 

Here’s the digital ad that will run on Connected TV, online outlets, etc.