South Africa is a land of diverse cultures, of world-class wines and breathtaking views, of mega metropolises and sun soaked coasts; all of which catch the average visitor completely by surprise. That is because when most people consider visiting the country they tend to focus on safari adventures, and little else.
In an effort to expose prospective tourists to the other wonders the country has to offer, South African Tourism had amassed an extensive library of content over the years, featuring clips and scenes that reach from the coastline to the cities to the safari lodges.
But without much awareness of the vast and diverse attractions that lay beyond the inland wilderness, South African Tourism had to come up with a clever way to educate travelers on the other wonders that await discovery.
“When they leave South Africa visitors are complete astounded by the breadth and depth of the experiences and the people that they meet.”
Dale Jooste, the Content Editor for South African Tourism explains, “We wanted to make people realize that you can pretty much do whatever your heart desires, whether you’re an active adventure traveler or you just like natural scenic beauty or you’re a foodie or you like big city energy. We wanted to find a way of showcasing that.”
Introducing South African Tourism’s 24 Hours of Wow Campaign
“We looked at the massive increase of online video consumption and realized that would be a good place to start,” said Jooste.
The resulting microsite, 24 Hours of Wow, welcomes visitors with a clock face, and then presents some of the best attractions the country has to offer at each hour of the day. Every six seconds the clock moves ahead by an hour, displaying another activity, scene or attraction that’s available at that hour.
“The overall idea was that you could experience your own 24 hours in South Africa, with individual 6-second clips that you can choose depending on what your preferences were.”
The 24 Hours of Wow campaign then encourages visitors to build their own 24-hour adventure by mixing together video clips that are organized into six unique categories.
Visitors can, for example, explore a morning at a café in the city, an afternoon of extreme sports in an outdoor playground, a sunset over the coastline and an evening soaking in the country’s vibrant culture. While they are encouraged to build their own 24-hour clock visitors can also let the “shuffle” option surprise them.
There are 144 individual video clips in all, each as diverse as the country itself. They include drone footage of coastlines, time lapses of sunsets, street performers, football games, rooftop patios, gourmet kitchens, vineyard tours, fishing adventures and much more.
Building and Launching the Microsite
Jooste estimates that about 60% of the content was already available in South African Tourism’s archive, with the remainder collected in the months leading up to the campaign launch in late October of 2016.
“Instead of putting just videos up on our website, which presupposes that people know about the experiences that are available, choosing to do it the way that we did encourages people to explore more.”
Jooste expanded, “Giving it to people in a way that is easily digestible but also encourages them to investigate a little bit more was really the strategic intention.”
Once launched the microsite, 24hoursofwow.southafrica.net, was promoted internally through programmatic ad buys, blog content and social media campaigns that targeted users based on their interests. Regional offices also developed physical campaigns and activations that targeted local consumers all over the world.
Jooste credits South African Tourism’s lead agency, FCB, for pursuing what she describes as an “incredibly technical build.”
Since its launch the microsite has been visited over 600,000 times, with the average visitor spending approximately three minutes, though in months immediately following launch site visits averaged almost 10.
“It is a very unique navigation tool, and it’s one that, to my knowledge, has never been tried before,” said Jooste. “It effectively integrated those 24-hour streams across 144 clips to deliver something that is as bespoke a piece of communication as you can get.”
Though the bulk of the 24 Hours of Wow campaign currently lives on its own microsite, South African Tourism seeks to put the campaign at the front and center of a new main page that is currently under development.
“At the moment it’s more of a campaign site that then leads to tourism information,” explains Jooste. “The end goal is that it becomes integrated so that it’s all in one place, so you don’t need to navigate to the microsite to see the campaign or from the campaign to the tourism information.”
The campaign’s initial goal, to educate travelers about the breadth and variety of activities there are to do in South Africa, seems well accomplished. Now, visitors can immerse themselves in all the possibilities in the country, and put South Africa on the map beyond its great safari adventures.
Header Image Credit: @luc.luxton