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Promoting Colorado Tourism Safety in a Post-Pandemic World

Ian Gassman

Promoting Colorado Tourism Safety in a Post-Pandemic World

2021 has brought Karsh Hagan new wins and new clients, but it’s also given us a new way to approach video campaigns and live shoots in this post-pandemic world. 

This past month, we teamed up with our longtime client the Colorado Tourism Office to launch the "Do Colorado Right" campaign, which promotes safe COVID-19 behavior during the peak of winter tourism in Colorado.

This bold, new campaign struck a sweet spot between agility and creativity that will reinvent our productions for years to come.

Developing it was a true multi-agency effort, as we worked closely with the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) to confirm influencers, establish the COVID-safe behaviors we wanted to highlight, and roll-out promotion, all within two months. 

Tourism During COVID-19: A New Advertising Challenge 

In January, we started concepting ideas with CTO for messaging proper COVID-19 behavior within the local travel and tourism industry among the 18-25 audience.

With winter tourism on the rise and ski season in full swing, CTO wanted to know how it could help young tourists stay safe, while giving our communities and industries a chance to thrive? 

How could it best convey the importance of following Colorado’s COVID-19 guidelines without warding away those seeking a new adventure? 

How could it ... “Do Colorado Right?” 

Calling All Top Celebrity Social Media Influencers

With our “Do Colorado Right” message in mind, it was clear that we couldn’t simply tell tourists to follow the rules, we wanted to make them excited about doing so. We needed a spokesperson, a friendly face in front of the camera — we needed influencers! 

As the new wave of media personalities, influencers are perfect for presenting specific messages to granular audiences, like young tourists. In this case, we wanted to use notable Colorado influencers to help spread the “Do Colorado Right” motto, not COVID-19. 

Working at lightning speeds, we contacted a handful of local influencers and were able to land: 

Through our lighthearted video concepts and memorable taglines like “Shred, Don’t Spread,” these influencers could help us get tourists on board with COVID-19 best practices, not by wagging their fingers, but by showing them just how fun it is to “Do Colorado Right.” 

Creating A Safe, Agile Production

Because of timing and turnaround, we knew this production would be scrappier than ever before. Shot over a series of weekends throughout December and January, it required a very agile schedule and a small, mobile crew that were ready to switch it up at any moment.

The crew also walked the walk by sanitizing regularly, wearing masks at all times, practicing social distancing, and getting tested before each shoot.

To make things even safer (and sillier), they designed, photographed, and printed cardboard cutouts of our influencers’ friends and family that were used as extras on set. 

To show what poor social distancing can really look like without maximizing exposure, they used these cutouts-turned-extras on every shoot, giving each video a signature sense of humor. 

When all was said and done, all of our shoots were done safely. Now that’s doing Colorado right. 

The Power of Influencer Press

As the videos went live on at the beginning of February, the PR team began to alert publications about this clever campaign, resulting in glowing press from the Denver Business Journal, as well as a nod from The New York Times in a bigger story about tourism during the pandemic. 

The Safe Return of Colorado Tourism

With the rest of these videos rolling out this spring, we can’t wait to see what impact our creative new style of shooting will have on Colorado tourism throughout 2021. 

Now, with our help, tourists are more likely to take CTO’s advice to “Do Colorado Right” and keep themselves COVID safe while on the hunt for a Rocky Mountain adventure.

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