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Back to 2020 Outlook Forum

Poppy Awards (Industry Recognition)

The Visit California Poppy Awards are a biennial contest that honors the best and brightest of California tourism promotion. The awards are bestowed in even-numbered years as part of Outlook Forum.

Winners are selected by a panel of industry marketing experts in nine categories ranging from best public relations campaign, to best digital campaign to best cooperative marketing campaign. Submissions will be reviewed by Visit California staff, then blind judged by industry committee leadership.

The submission window has closed. Eligibility period for programs is Jan 1, 2018 – Oct 1, 2019. Participants could submit nominations for a wide range of categories:

Best Overall Brand Identity - Organization budget of less than $1 million / between $1 million - $8 million / more than $8 million
An organization's brand is more than a logo or an ad or the design language for corporate identity – a brand represents the essence of a destination and is a reflection of a place’s unique character, lifestyle and assets. For example, the California “Dream Big” brand platform reflects the promise of the California lifestyle, attitude and abundance — fueling both demand for travel and residents’ pride in the Golden State. 

This category will honor destinations with the best integrated brand programming to support their region’s key iconic assets and businesses. Entries must include your destination’s unique brand promise and any reflection of the overall brand positioning along with examples of how the brand was implemented with consumers and business partners. This includes (but is not limited to) consumer advertising, public relations or travel trade initiatives, b2b programs, business stationery, etc. Entries will be judged for the merit of the branding, the consistency of the brand and how the brand has established community identity and pride of place.

There is no eligibility period for this award category — entries must highlight your current brand identity, but your brand need not have been launched in 2018 or 2019.

Examples:
Kentucky - Unbridled Spirit
Nashville - Music City

Best Digital Campaign
Marketing a business or destination online is key to capturing the interest of potential travelers around the world. Spotlight your most influential digital campaign, including how you integrated your brand identity and leveraged your website, paid media, social and other online tactics, including their specific results. Metrics for success can include: Website views, video/content views, clicks/CTR, number of content shares, partner handoffs, bookings or sales generated from the campaign, ad recall/awareness, reach / impressions, and opt-ins, followers.

Best Social Media Campaign
Creative and effective use of social media channels – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, etc. – can amplify a campaign or can exist as a stand-alone program. Show how you’ve employed social media to feature California tourism destinations, attractions, tour operators or hospitality suppliers either as part of a larger campaign, or as its own social campaign. Success metrics should include analytics, performance against targets, dashboard data, earned media and engagement levels. Metrics for success can include: Analytics, performance against targets, number of engagements, dashboard data, level of engagement, reach / impressions, followers, and bookings or sales generated from the campaign.

Best Content Marketing Initiative
Content marketing and effective storytelling is a way that brands can break through the clutter in this always on, digital world. Creating and leveraging content is what sets great organizations apart. Showcase your best content marketing initiative – either as a part of a larger program, or as a stand-alone campaign. Share your approach, including the program’s goals, target audience, platforms used, distribution strategy and results. Metrics for success can include: Distribution, performance against targets, content engagement, earned media, reach / impressions (print or online), partner handoffs, and bookings or sales generated from the campaign.

Best Cooperative Marketing
Collaboration can take a good campaign and make it extraordinary. Showcase a marketing effort in which two or more organizations partnered to promote travel to a region within California. Submission should clearly articulate program goals and results based on each organization’s objectives. Metrics for success can include: Website traffic, audience engagement, earned media, reach / impressions, partner handoffs, bookings or sales generated from the campaign, visitation or foot traffic, and economic Impact.

Best Public Relations Campaign
Effective PR puts storytelling front and center, supporting marketing initiatives with invaluable earned media. Share your most effective campaign featuring California tourism products. Campaigns can target niche markets or a general audience and may also include special events, consumer or media activations or crisis communications or issues management. Entries should incorporate research, planning, creativity and results. Results may include total impressions, pick-up and social media integration, if applicable. Metrics for success can include: Social media engagement, reach, number of impressions, website traffic, sales generated from the partnership, pick up and social media integration, and partner or member participation.

Best Influencer Campaign
This category rewards the best use of Influencer Marketing - marketing that utilizes individuals, groups or associations to help advocate for the brand or product in order to gain credibility and target consumers as a primary communication tactic/strategy to reach your objectives. Programs/campaigns can include any type of influencers, from lesser-known influencers to YouTube stars to national celebrities, and anything in-between. Campaigns can target niche markets or a general audience and may include any of the following components of PR: traditional media outreach, broadcast integrations, influencer campaigns, consumer activations, crisis communications or issues management. Metrics for success can include: Social media engagement, reach, number of impressions, website traffic, pick up and social media integration, sales generated from the partnership, and partner/member participation.

 


 

 

2018 Poppy Awards Finalists & Winners

 

The 2018 selection process featured a record number of submissions. Amid the historically strong field, these winners shined the brightest:

 

Best Content Marketing Initiative

  • Winner: North Lake Tahoe Visitor Bureau
  • City of SLO Tourism Business Improvement District
  • Terranea Resort

Best Cooperative Marketing

  • Winner: Visit Anaheim
  • Pebble Beach Resorts
  • Visit West Hollywood
  • Yosemite Gateways

Best Digital Campaign

  • Winner: Visit SLO CAL
  • Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • San Diego Tourism Authority
  • Visit Anaheim

Best Overall Marketing - $2 million and up

  • Winner: Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
  • The Disneyland Resort
  • Visit Napa Valley

Best Overall Marketing - $500,000 to $2 million

  • Winner: Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Winner: San Diego Zoo Global
  • Visit Santa Barbara

Best Overall Marketing - Less than $500,000

  • Winner: San Francisco Travel Association
  • Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Passport Resorts

Best Public Relations Campaign

  • Winner: San Diego Tourism
  • Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Best Social Media Campaign

  • Winner: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
  • Mono County Tourism
  • Sonoma County Tourism