Willamette Valley

Capitol Christmas Tree Trail Ornament Contest

In celebration of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and anniversaries of the Oregon Trail (175th) and the National Trails Act (50 th), Willamette Valley Visitors Association partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to host a ornament hunt in the Willamette National Forest (WNF).

In addition to using the opportunity to create content and advertising pieces in Alaska Airlines magazine we commissioned 200 glass ornaments to be made, hidden and tracked by the U.S. Forest Service in the WNF in order to entice more off-season visits to our beautiful trails. The ornament hunt highlighted 1,700 miles of trails on the WNF and encouraged at least 200 visitors to trek the trails. From May 26–October 2, 2018 the WVVA website saw an increase of 8,434 visits and 188 contest registrations as a direct result of the contest.

ornament

Outcome

We knew we had to jump at time when the nation’s eyes were on us during such an anniversary during our shoulder season. This was a successful impact for a contest that was the first of its kind for WVVA.

Our magazine advertising brought increased visits to our trails, website and social media channels. The hunt created buzz and increased in engagement on Instagram.

Results

Led to a jump of 104 followers for WVVA and over 4100 engagements for #findyourornament during the hunting season.

We also had our 188 prizes donated by local businesses throughout the Sweet Home area which brought recognition and increased business to local shops, restaurants, etc. throughout communities like Sweet Home, Lebanon, Vida, and Eugene.

In addition, we cultivated and nurtured relationships with the Willamette National Forest Service, Choose Outdoors, Travel Oregon and others that will be essential to the momentum we began with this campaign in years to come. Upcoming challenges may be how to keep the momentum of such a campaign going during years that we do not have a tree coming from the WNF. But with our strong partnerships and an eye on trail development, we feel this gave us a great start to a successful future of an annual trail campaign.

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