Minorities represent a huge untapped market and will be a focus during the next phase of the recreational vehicle industry’s Go RVing advertising campaign, according to a report in the Louisville Courier.
“Minorities have never really been marketed to,” said Tom Stinnett, owner of Tom Stinnett RV Freedom Center in Clarksville, Ind., and co-chairman of the RV industry’s marketing arm, the Go RVing Coalition. “We think there’s a vast opportunity for the RV industry to invite them in.”
During the 43rd annual National RV Trade Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center last week, industry officials outlined plans to launch a three-year, $66 million campaign next year highlighting African Americans and other minorities. The marketing push will include television spots during the Winter Olympics in February and ads in magazines such as Field & Stream and Gourmet.
The group also plans to advertise in media that reach a largely African-American audience – Ebony and Essence magazines among them.
Don Walter, co-chairman of the coalition with Stinnett, said while the new commercials feature minority actors and models, the message the group is sending has not changed – RVs let families take good vacations and spend time together.
Lucious Green, president of Kentuckiana RVers which has about a dozen members and is a chapter of the National African American RV Association, said it’s about time the industry put more focus on minorities. “If they don’t do it, they’re going to lose out on a lot of sales.”
Walter said his group’s market research shows that 16% of future RV sales could come from African Americans and 11% from Hispanics. The group did not have statistics on how many current RV owners are minorities.
Pat Coxeff, financial secretary of the National African American RV Association, said the popularity of RVs is growing in the black community. When the group started 13 years ago, it had 53 members. Now, it has more than 3,000.
“I think we’re a group (the industry) has been missing for a long time,” Coxeff said from her Las Vegas home. “We know about RVing in the African-American community. The manufacturers need to know more about us.”
Green said he’s happy that the industry is trying to be more inclusive. During his coast-to-coast RV travels over the past five years, Green said he has not encountered racism at the campsites and national parks where he’s stayed.
“When you get out there camping, people are people. That’s what I like about it,” Green said.