The RV industry’s Go RVing market expansion campaign reached a “new level” of public visibility on Feb. 16, when some 40 million viewers were able to see the debut of this year’s TV ads during the broadcasts of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race on FOX in addition to a remake of “The Music Man” on ABC and the “Sunday Night Movie” on CBS.
“That’s the new level of awareness we were looking for when we decided to launch on network TV,” Go RVing Coalition Chairman Tom Faludy, president of supplier firm Carefree of Colorado, told those attending the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Annual Meeting March 6-10. The meeting was at the Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, Maui, Hawaii.
The kickoff ads were part of a monthlong blitz on major TV networks to inaugurate Go RVing’s seventh year under the direction of a new advertising agency – The Richards Group of Dallas.
Faludy made two particular points after he and RVIA Vice President of Communications Gary LaBella reviewed the new program during the annual membership meeting Sunday (March 9). Faludy said that when Go RVing was created, few in the industry would have imagined its eventual reach and that the family and friendship message the new ads deliver couldn’t have come at a better time for the United States.
“You’ve got the economic doom and gloom, you’ve got the threat of wars and the stories about terrorism,” Faludy told RVBUSINESS.COM after the meeting. “All of a sudden here comes these wonderful messages from the RV industry. The messages are powerful in and of themselves, but in context of the political and economic storms the United States is experiencing, our message offers a safe harbor and certainty to American families.”
The ads, narrated by actor Tom Selleck, urge Americans to pursue their passions in an RV, whether that means spending time with family and friends, participating in sports or touring.
The network TV portion of the campaign was expected to be viewed 400 million times before ending next Monday (March 17). Advertising on cable TV, radio and magazines will continue until December.
The new program also features a more aggressive dealer tie-in program, allowing retailers to more readily access potential RV buyers who have visited the Go RVing website or called the Go RVing toll-free telephone number.
Spending on Go RVing advertising was budgeted to top $15 million this year, up from $12.6 million in 2002. The increased budget was made possible by an increase in RVIA seal fees that finance th0000e Go RVing campaign.