August 16, 2018

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Wins Prestigious Mercury Award

The National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) this week presented the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development with the prestigious Mercury Award at the U.S. Travel Association's Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO), held in Phoenix. ESTO is the largest annual tourism meeting and is attended by both state tourism offices and Convention and Visitors Bureau/Convention and Visitors Commission offices.

The Mercury Awards recognize member organizations for excellence and creative accomplishment in state destination marketing and promotion; and inspire, through showcasing outstanding work, the continued development of imaginative and exciting marketing and promotional programs.

 "The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee." Concert Series earned a Mercury Award in the category of Niche Targeting.

The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee. Concert Series was created to appeal to Millennial travelers who increasingly turn to social media to learn about new travel destinations. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development enlisted the help of well-known music artists to create three musical performances that could only happen in Tennessee, and then used Snapchat as a "virtual box office" where visitors could unlock free tickets to each event, as well as experience one-of-a-kind video content created by the artists. Each event generated more than one million engagements, in addition to earning hundreds of millions of earned media impressions via news coverage of the unique activation.

The overall campaign received a total of 9.7 million Snapchat views and generated 1.2 million earned media impressions. The Snapchat videos promoting Tennessee were viewed to completion a total of 7.3 million times.

"It's an honor to be recognized by our peers for the hard work and creativity our team and our marketing partners," said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. "'The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.' Concert Series generated national attention for Tennessee as the home of seven different forms of popular American music. But even more, the variation in locations and acts emphasized the diversity of Tennessee music and created strong interest in visitors of all ages and interests seeking one-of-a-kind vacation experiences."

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.
Visit www.ustravel.org.

About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development:

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is to motivate travel to and within Tennessee by inspiring enjoyment, creating memories, producing a desire to return and establishing key long-term relationships that result in visitors becoming residents. Tennessee's tourism industry generates $19.3 billion annually in economic impact, more than $1.7 billion in state and local sales tax revenue and more than 176,500 tourism-related jobs. The promise of Tennessee--the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll--is to be the global music destination of choice. To deliver an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is "The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee."