You Play, We'll Pay

Saving a lost tourism season by fighting oil with ... gift cards?

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Public Relations
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Crisis Communications
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Room Nights Booked in 72 Hours

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spewed millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster threatened to destroy the tourism economy of Perdido Key, Fla. Though little oil ever made it to the island’s shores, panicked tourists assumed the worst.


To bring the visitors back before it was too late, we worked with the Perdido Key Chamber to create an aggressive strategy that used budget targeted for advertising to reward $100 American Express® gift cards to travelers—one gift card for every night booked. Our strategy worked. The promotion, intended to run for two months, completely depleted the supply of gift cards within the first 72 hours, resulting in nearly 4000 new room nights being booked.

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