“Sunshine, community, FUN” and “It brings my family closer together” were just two of the reasons people said they loved Breckenridge. The messages were scrawled on chalkboards around town.
The Breckenridge Resort Chamber/GoBreck won the 2013 Governor’s Award for Outstanding Marketing Program. This award recognizes a community project designed to promote tourism in Colorado — in this case, the #BreckBecause campaign. The award was presented Oct. 3 at the Governor’s 2013 Colorado Tourism Conference in Telluride.
The #BreckBecause marketing effort began in June with two chalkboards — each reading, “I love Breckenridge because…” — set up in Blue River Plaza. A website and social media hashtag allowed residents and visitors alike to share photos, videos and other thoughts about the town.
The campaign generated double- and triple-digit increases in advertising performance over the summer. #BreckBecause was based on a study showing people see Breckenridge as an authentic, welcoming community. The advertising, social media and in-town chalkboards all invited visitors to share reasons they love the town, and those comments then were shared to promote Breckenridge as a travel destination.
In a prepared statement, GoBreck marketing director Scott Fortner said it was an honor to be recognized.
“Our agency, Barnhart Communications, did an excellent job of creating a campaign that represents the Breckenridge brand,” he said. “Our staff has put an extraordinary amount of work and creativity into making it a success.”
Rachel Zerowin, BRC/GoBreck spokeswoman, said the summer marketing plan outlined $412,000 in spending, which incorporated the #BreckBecause creative and messaging costs throughout print, online and social media.
Ricky Lambert, copywriter at Barnhart Communications, worked on the Breckenridge campaign. He said photos of the chalkboard were turned into ads, which were placed in Sunset and Outsider magazines, as well as billboards and other marketing.
“We brought the campaign to life,” Lambert said. “It’s a great tourism market in Colorado and it’s nice to be recognized.”
The number of people following GoBreck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is also up an average of 48 percent from the start of the campaign. Visits to GoBreck.com and partner pages are up 10 to 20 percent, with increases on the mobile app and unique blog visits as well.
The BRC/GoBreck organization proposed a restructure plan to the Breckenridge Town Council on Oct. 8, and also recently announced a partnership to outsource vacation planning and reservation services.