Pigeonholed as the vacation choice of retirees and lower-income families, the Canadian RV industry has an image problem. Recreational vehicles are not usually pitched as a dreamy, aspirational getaway choice. A new advertising campaign is attempting to address that.
The Globe and Mail reported that Go RVing Canada launched online this month, and coming to television in March, a campaign that does not linger on images of RVs. Instead, the focus is on artful shots of sunlight streaming through the ropes of a hammock, and urban-liberated free-range children running through the mud and finding critters in the grass. The ads are designed to combat people’s negative impressions of RVs, and instead to lend them a more premium feel.
To view a Go RVing ad click here or scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.
“Because we deal with this perception issue, one of the ways we can overcome that is showing the RVs in their natural habitat – these beautiful natural areas – and showing that’s accessible,” said Chris Mahony, executive director of Go RVing Canada, a non-profit association that pools the marketing budgets of RV manufacturers and dealers to promote the activity.
Following a severe dip in 2008, RV sales have generally been growing in Canada, with the industry tracking one of its biggest years in 2013. The industry wants to keep that momentum going. Last year, sales were roughly flat, with declines in Ontario and Quebec offset by growth in the rest of the country. Go RVing felt it needed an advertising shift.
In recent years, its campaign slogan has been “Unschedule.” Its commercials featured harried families weighed down by too much screen time and overlapping ballet, guitar and martial arts lessons. Camping was pitched as the antidote. The association decided to focus less on the problem and more on the solution. The new ads propose that consumers can use an RV purchase to rediscover “wildhood” for themselves and their kids.
The idea is to appeal especially to consumers in their 40s with children, who have been a growing segment of RV users. While many people think of empty-nesters when they picture RV vacations, 67% of owners are under the age of 55. That’s up from close to 50% just seven years ago.
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