Inside Jellystone Park’s “Camping Hacks” marketing camp-aign.

The beloved camp-resort sweeps guests off their feet with sweepstakes

With locations across the United States and Canada, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park takes family camping trips to the next level. So naturally, they take their marketing campaigns to the next level, too. Last summer, they drove an actual log cabin all around the Midwest! And this summer? Well, what else but a wildly successful Camping Hacks Sweepstakes that Jellystone guests were all too eager to take part in.

This week’s Zesty Marketing Podcast guest is Jim Westover, Vice President of Product Development and Sales at Leisure Systems, Inc., which is the franchising company of Jellystone Park. Jim tells us what inspired the sweepstakes, how he went about executing it here in the States as well as in Canada, and how it got thousands of Jellystone fans to engage with the brand.

Audience-Brand engagement

The premise of the sweepstakes was simple: submit a camping “hack” for a chance to win a free week-long trip to any Jellystone Park. Jim and the others at Jellystone did not expect 9,000 submissions to come streaming in, but that’s what they got! After sifting through the submissions, they picked some of the best and shared them on TV segments and social media.

Jellystone’s target demographic for the contest and all their marketing material is 25- to 45-year-old women with children. Jim proclaims,

“If Mom isn’t happy, nobody’s happy. That’s who we’re targeting with any promotion that we have just because they are the decision makers.

And with their primary audience getting younger as they focus on the 25-35-year-old millennial parents, Jim claims that people in this age bracket are all about “experiencing things for themselves”. These camping hacks were the perfect way to fuel that independent streak while providing valuable tips and tricks to make camping easier and more comfortable. Plus it all came back to the association of fun and easy camping with the Jellystone brand.

Contests are an excellent way to boost audience engagement. Hear how Catoctin Breeze Vineyard uses Instagram contests as part of their marketing strategy.

People love to be a part of a conversation with a brand they love. The Camping Hacks Sweepstakes provided them an opportunity to assist in the creation of a promotional campaign that everyone benefited from.

Everyone wins

The Camping Hacks Sweepstakes was not only an exciting marketing campaign, but it turned out to be great PR for Jellystone as well! Here’s a clip from Coffee With America, where Marketing Manager at Leisure Systems, Alex Reed, showcases some of the best hacks they received from campers (including the orange cinnamon roll Jim mentions in the podcast):

Marketing comes down to knowing what people love. People love to talk about themselves.share their brilliant ideas, and tell other people what to do .which is exactly what the Camping Hacks campaign encouraged. And who wouldn’t want to do that, especially for the chance to win a free camping trip?

The sweepstakes resulted in free, fun, and engaging content that everyone benefits from. Hack submitters get the chance to win a trip and have their ideas shared. Camping enthusiasts can file away cool tips . Tricks to prepare for their next camping adventure, and Jellystone gets free, on-brand content from their fans that they can continue to share on social media long after the sweepstakes’ conclusion in June. Winners all around!

About the guest: Jim Westover is the Vice President of Product Development and Sales at Leisure Systems, Inc., the franchisor of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.

Want more destination and attraction marketing insights? Find our most recent chats on the Zesty Marketing Podcast.

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