Changing perceptions and behavior is at the core of what we do. The following campaigns exemplify W+B’s work in helping to change behaviors.
City of Manassas
When our relationship started, City of Manassas Tourism had a few main goals in mind- increase the number of visitors to Manassas, increase regional awareness of Manassas attractions and events, and facilitate increased tourist spending.
Only one year and a half into our relationship, we are proud to say that yearly tourism is at an all-time high and visitor spending continues to rise, greatly contributing to the meals tax and sales tax revenues of Manassas.
Manassas opted for a largely digital campaign, leveraging Facebook and Google Ads to reach the most people possible at the lowest cost per impression. Going one step further, we were able to pinpoint those most likely to visit the city, making an even better use of their investment. Once a visitor clicks on our ads, we are able to track their level of interest and intention, and then narrow ad delivery to those most likely to visit. In this way, the targeting gets better and better as the campaign goes on.
After our first year together, the word had caught on and City of Manassas’ Economic Development department has retained Waters & Bridgman as well. We have been handling their content creation, graphic design, and press releases ever since, with great success.
Tower Park Corporation
Tower Park Corporation is headed by Bobby Freeman, a dynamic attorney who decided that real estate development was his calling, rather than the law. As his first effort, Bobby purchased a long-abandoned, 120-acre piece of property in Newport News generally known as the “Eveready Battery site”. Besides being used as a location to manufacture batteries in the 1960’s, it borders an active railroad track that runs the length of the longest side of the property – not exactly prime real estate that many developers would covet. Real estate mavens all over the market could be heard muttering “good luck!”
Job one was to come up with a name that connoted a feeling of warmth and community. Our creative director went to work and had one of those “eureka!” moments. He handed Bobby a copy of William Styron’s famous book, “Lie Down in Darkness”. Styron, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, grew up in Newport News and the book is somewhat autobiographical. It takes place in a town called “Port Warwick”. Freeman even went to the extent of visiting the author and solicited his input and approval. Styron was enthusiastic (the streets were named by Styron himself) and Port Warwick was born.
This mixed-use, urban village style community has been a huge success and our staff has been involved every step of the way. The initial campaign used “Welcome Back to the Neighborhood” as the tagline and the logo gives one a feeling of quality and attention to detail. Our work has included the marketing of all types of residential real estate, retail, a retirement center, commercial office space and several restaurants. Also, Freeman personally commissioned several beautiful outdoor sculptures by world-renowned artists. We ran special events for the unveiling of the sculptures that lead to excellent publicity and a stronger sense of identity for Port Warwick.
The original plan called for a six to eight year build out. After four years there was virtually no land available at Port Warwick. Not bad for the other side of the tracks. “Welcome Back to the Neighborhood” indeed!
Digital/Traditional Marketing Campaign
Rotary International-District 7600
Rotary International District 7600 comprises 63 Rotary Clubs in a geographic area that begins in Fluvanna, northwest of Richmond, covers the area south to Blackstone and east to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
It includes the major markets of Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Rotary, like other civic organizations such as Kiwanis, Lions, Ruritan and others have experienced a slow deterioration of their membership numbers over the past decade or two. The problem is that there are more civic clubs to choose from than ever. Compounding this issue is the fact that free time has become increasingly valuable, particularly to the Gen X group and Millenials. Younger professionals and managers need a very good reason to give up their time for a weekly meeting. We suggested that the best reason this group would join Rotary is to provide opportunities to network in such a way that they can advance their careers and do good throughout their communities at the same time. After contacting the Rotary International office, we learned that RI had recently produced a very good TV commercial that suited that objective very well and was available for this use with only minor modifications.
The campaign’s specific goal was to drive television viewers and users of Facebook to the District 7600 website. Once on the website they could readily find a club that met at a time and location that worked best for them.
The media buy was planned and targeted demographically and geographically using Cable Television combined with Facebook Search Engine Marketing.
The happy result was that District 7600 Rotary Clubs experienced a small, but measurable increase in membership after experiencing seven consecutive years of membership declines.