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Visit SLO CAL wins Visit California Poppy Award 

Best digital marketing campaign awarded to local non-profit

Visit SLO CAL, the destination marketing organization for San Luis Obispo County, received Visit California’s coveted Poppy Award for Best Digital Marketing Campaign in recognition of its “Life’s Too Beautiful to Rush” initiative. Awarded at Visit California’s 2018 Poppy Awards & Industry Recognition Gala in Anaheim on February 15, the event drew more than 600 people to honor the Golden State’s best and brightest tourism marketing efforts.

One of four finalists for the Best Digital Campaign award, Visit SLO CAL, with a $3.8 million budget, rose above Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau ($7 million budget), Visit Anaheim ($17 million) and San Diego Tourism Authority ($43 million). Visit SLO CAL’s winning program launched the first-ever countywide brand (SLO CAL) and corresponding “Life’s Too Beautiful to Rush” campaign developed by their creative agency, BCF.

Especially impactful for its utilization of digital ads, online video and an interactive landing page, the campaign showcased the county in an emotionally resonant way through breathtaking images and heartwarming scenes. Further inspiring visits with the ‘California Less Traveled’ theme, the imagery-focused story slowly unfolds with enticing visuals of a place on California’s Central Coast where life slows down, allowing guests to reconnect with what, and who, they love.

“The Poppy Award winners are selected by leaders from a variety of California destinations, our peers in the industry, which makes the win especially meaningful,” explains Chuck Davison, President & CEO of Visit SLO CAL. “For SLO CAL to be recognized at this level by some of the leading international destination marketing organizations across our state proves something we’ve known all along – that our community, our destination, can compete and win in the global travel arena.”

Designed to showcase the most innovative, inspirational and successful marketing programs in the state, Visit California’s biennial Poppy Award winners were selected by a panel of industry experts in seven categories ranging from Best Overall Marketing Program to Best Social Media Campaign. The Best Digital Campaign Poppy Award was Visit SLO CAL’s first in an advertising category, having won the Best Public Relations Campaign award in 2016. In addition to Visit SLO CAL’s win, three other Central Coast destinations were finalists for various 2018 Poppy Awards, including the City of San Luis Obispo for Best Content Marketing Initiative.

SLO CAL had a large presence at the event and corresponding Outlook Forum conference with 28 travel and tourism professionals in attendance. The group included representatives from across San Luis Obispo County, including Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, San Simeon and SLO CAL.

“The Visit SLO CAL team has truly propelled tourism in San Luis Obispo County forward faster and farther than any of us in the industry could have expected when the TMD (tourism marketing district) passed two and a half years ago,” said Clint Pierce, of Madonna Enterprises and the Chair of the VSC Board. “The organization’s ability to bring groups from across the county together for the greater good of all is the type of regional effort we need more of. This Poppy Award is not only a reflection of their efforts, but of the amplification that happens through strategic countywide collaboration.”

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.