The RV industry’s enthusiasm for the Go RVing ad campaign remains so strong that Gary LaBella, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, described it as “amazing.”
LaBella expressed his views during a meeting Monday (June 9) of the Go RVing Coalition, an ad hoc organization comprising RV manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, campground operators’ associations and others interested in the success of the RV industry.
Last year, the coalition adjusted the amount manufacturers pay to support the ad campaign. Now, RVIA-member manufacturers pay $66 per motorhome, $55 per travel trailer and fifth-wheel and $44 per folding camper and truck camper.
Perviously, manufacturers paid $44 for all types of RV units.
“Going to the new multilevel assessment was a possible source of confusion (but) it did not turn out that way at all,” LaBella said. “Everyone understands the new deal. Worry about it was much to do about nothing, in retrospect.
“Things are going very, very well,” LaBella continued. “It’s been 15 months since we had the big meeting in Orlando, when we selected The Richards Group to be our new (ad) agency.
“It’s been an eventful 15 months but it has all been extremely positive. The creative process went better than it had in the two previous phases, we (the RVIA staff) worked together very well. The Richards Group is doing very well in every arena.
“The buy-in from all levels of the industry has gone extremely well,” LaBella said. “There is still great enthusiasm for this program.”
He said there was 100% support for the new ad campaign after it was debuted in Louisville in December.
“It’s an amazing story that I tell all the time to people in the media about how this industry coalition is still as enthusiastic and supportive and unified seven years after we started running our first ad. There’s still nobody out there – knock on wood – criticizing the program or saying it’s not doing what it’s supposed to be do.
We couldn’t be happier with the way things are going: the (RVIA) staff/agency relationship, the industry/coalition relationship, the acceptance and buy-in from all levels of the industry I think is as high now as it has ever been and it’s getting better and better,” LaBella said. “We are the envy of many other industries. We really do have something special here.”
Phase 3 of the Go RVing campaign has a $54 million budget, or about $18 million a year, through the end of 2005, LaBella said. It now appears that around $52 million will be spent, leaving around $2 million available in 2005 for the production of the first Phase 4 ads, which would begin appearing in 2006, he said.
This year, it appears Go RVing ad spending will total around $13 million, which would be about $3.5 million more than was spent on ads in 2002, LaBella said.
The remaining $5 million budgeted for this year will be spent on ad agency fees, production, administrative and other related costs.