Dreaming of one day | Wesgro

Entered by Wesgro

Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a continuing need to market the Western Cape as a leisure tourism destination and to ensure the industry had a means of staying alive when it was unable to operate, with local people remaining inspired, motivated and able to remain optimistic in the face of the largest health crisis they had ever faced.

But how do you market a destination to people who are not allowed to visit and keep an industry alive when it is not allowed to operate? 

The answer: You get them to keep dreaming of the one day that they can.

The first steps

The team needed to help sustain the industry and give it a chance to bounce back once lockdown restrictions were lifted and to provide operators with additional collateral to market their products in a much-changed environment. Keeping people inspired was key to the roll-out of the Dreaming of One Day campaign messaging - providing them with something to look forward to when this was all over.

The messaging of ‘One Day’ allowed the team to navigate an unknown timeframe, while also expanding the target audience to incorporate domestic as well as international travellers with the main goal being that when people could travel again, Cape Town and the Western Cape would be their first port of call. With the audience living out their days online, engagement was via social media, using visual cues and Instagram stories to keep people dreaming of that One Day - seeding itineraries and highlighting the unique wonders of the area, as well as partnering with local tour guides to host virtual tours of the province on Zoom. Finally, the team developed dream-inducing podcasts - of whales in Gansbaai, horseback riding in Stellenbosch, sipping tea in the historic Bo-Kaap – to sooth potential visitors as they drifted off to sleep.

By entering partnerships with local tour operators, the team were also driving funds back into the local tourism economy and providing the industry with additional marketing collateral to showcase their offerings. This worked on both a domestic and international level by reminding locals what was on offer within a moment’s reach should international returns be delayed further. Beginning in April the campaign began by seeding the idea of ‘Dreaming of One Day’ with Facebook advertisements and Instagram stories.

Making 'dreaming of one day' a literal reality

The virtual tours then commenced, with guides gives using tools like Google Street View to point out the interesting sights. At the end of the tour a virtual business card would appear and viewers given the opportunity to tip the guide and book the ‘real’ tour for when travel was allowed again. A short documentary, ‘Chasing Lines’ was also launched which focused on two seasoned explorers' trip through the Western Cape, crossing some of the province’s most visually appealing landscapes, engaging with the locals along the way, and highlighting the many off-the grid experiences. The film helped cement a familiarity of place connected with the audience, whose own adventures were put on hold for the time being.

The final element of the campaign – the Dreaming of One Day podcasts – rolled out in June providing the subconscious mind specific imagery to dream about. 

The figurative ‘Dreaming of One Day’ was now literal. The campaign achieved impressive results, with c. 20-million impressions and nearly 5-million people reached. 32 Western Cape tour guides were able to generate an income during the lockdown, while also opening up their world to digital travel as a medium. The virtual tours enabled the team to generate a larger viewership than ever before, with messaging specifically designed to ensure that the team can move seamlessly into a recovery campaign once travel is allowed again.

Related reading

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is calling | Place Brand of the Year 2020

From Day Zero to COVID-19: how collaboration is key to the Western Cape's crisis and recovery management

Nine 'Stay Home' campaigns that are rooted in place DNA

Hall of Fame: 15 of the best place branding campaigns

City Nation Place Awards 2023

Finalists announced 5th October!

View our 2022 winners

City Nation Place Global

Join us in London on November 8th & 9th!

Find out more