Case Study

Secrets of the South

We think we ‘know’ the United States of America. But we don’t. The USA covers more than 3.8 million square miles of the world’s most diverse landscapes and cultures, with a geography that ranges from the arctic tundras of Alaska to the world’s largest collection of gypsum sand dunes in New Mexico – and from the dried salt beds of Death Valley to the northern hemisphere’s only tropical rainforest, Florida’s Everglades.

Brand USA wanted us to show The Times and The Sunday Times’ most curious readers that there is more to discover in America than they realised.

The idea

In Secrets of the South we explored Southern USA and unearthed a world of sound, colour and flavour. From Charleston, the soul of Southern US dance, to the festivals of the Deep South – including Burning Man in New Mexico – we paid homage to a ‘hidden’ America.

The execution

We presented our findings in exclusive travel supplements in The Times and The Sunday Times’ titles, including The Sunday Times Travel Section and Sunday Times Magazine, as well as replicating our guides on tablets and on a bespoke online site. We celebrated 100 years of the US National Park Service, who care for some of the most beautiful places on Earth. And we created videos that gave readers a glimpse of this exotic and diverse cultural hotspot.

The results

  • We served 2 million online impressions
  • More than 95,000 people watched the videos
  • The click-through rate was over six per cent
  • Over a third of readers recalled the campaign
  • Recall and awareness of com doubled
  • Over three quarters of readers wanted to find out more about travelling to the USA – a 31 per cent increase from before the campaign
  • Over three quarters of readers said they would recommend travelling to the USA to others
  • And over two thirds of readers plan to travel to the USA in the next two years – with an estimated spend of over £4million
  • 2000000 Online impressions
  • 95000 people watched the videos