Building Wrightsville’s new ad budget


The majority of the Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee’s Tuesday, April 8 meeting was consumed by new or different marketing ideas for the fiscal year 2014-15 budget.

Tom Hickey, media lead for Clean Design branding and design agency, said the proposal his team would present to the committee this year would not be radically different than last year’s. However, Hickey talked about certain new marketing strategies Clean Design is considering.

Those ideas included designing outdoor billboard advertising, using Wrightsville Beach’s own hashtag for social media, creating customizable playlists on Internet music sources like Pandora Radio and Spotify to be matched with Wrightsville Beach activities, like walking the John Nesbitt Loop, and filming a stunt video branded for Wrightsville Beach. Hickey said the video would include some sort of gag or stunt designed to attract a large number of views on websites like YouTube and Hulu.

Another change Clean Design would like to implement for the beach’s marketing with the new budget is featuring less about the accessibility of Wrightsville Beach and more about its active culture.

“Vibrant and alive,” were the buzzwords mentioned by Clean Design brand strategist Travis Conte.

Hickey said his agency will likely recommend the same levels of funding for each of the advertising platforms with digital media representing around 40 percent and print media the next closest at 15 percent.

Shawn Braden, executive vice president of marketing of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she would present the committee with a closer look at what the costs of the new marketing ideas would be during its May meeting. The ideas presented during Tuesday’s meeting represented a list of new options that could work but Braden said she tries to keep Clean Design focused on the few marketing outlets proven to work best for Wrightsville Beach.

“The available channels for marketing keep growing and growing, but our budget is not,” Braden said. “Clean Design came to us with a lot more ideas than this.”

As for Wrightsville Beach’s official tourism website, Pete DiMaio, director of business strategy for website design and branding agency Fuel Interactive, said the site is continuously becoming more accessible for mobile devices. The site’s new location-based interactive map for mobile devices is now operational, he said.

With online search engines like Google offering more varied information when destinations are searched, like hotel and restaurant reviews, DiMaio said the website also needs to become the ultimate information tool for all things Wrightsville Beach to control the content disseminated on the Internet.

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