The leaders of the RV industry’s marketing communications program reported how Go RVing advertising and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) public relations are working hand-in-hand to protect the image of RVing and build RV demand at the association’s Annual Membership Meeting Wednesday (June 9) in South Bend, Ind.
In a presentation during RVIA Committee Week titled “Go RVing: We’re Back in the Saddle Again,” Go RVing Co-Chairman and CEO of Winnebago Bob Olson, and RVIA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella told RVIA members that investing in Go RVing’s new “Ambassadors of Affordability” ads was a wise decision during the recession, according to a press release.
“We were under severe economic constraints last year,” said Olson. “Continuing to advertise and deciding to develop new creative in such a year were bold moves to keep our industry on the offensive.”
The new ads emphasize savings, which research shows is a smart move given how the economy has affected consumer thinking.
“We’ve always promoted value and affordability as big advantages of RV ownership,” said LaBella. “But dramatic changes in consumer behavior due to the recession have now made value and affordability even more important to purchase decisions.”
Following the “Back in the Saddle Again” report, LaBella was joined by B.J. Thompson, chairman of RVIA’s Public Relations Committee, to present “The New Consumer and the Road Ahead,” a look at RVIA public relations activities, as well as an overview of findings from a new communications planning survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
LaBella and Thompson reported that the image of RVing has remained strong, and that media has widely reported core RVIA messages.
“The key to our successful outreach is the industry’s continued investment in PR,” said Thompson. “An investment that has protected our image and deftly positioned in the industry to capitalize on our nation’s growing economic recovery.”
After showing an 11-minute video of news and entertainment programs featuring RVs, the duo provided analysis of the new Harris Interactive research.
“Among the findings, the survey showed that statements focused on family togetherness and cost savings rate equally with RV owners and non-RV owners alike,” said LaBella. “Messages that mention families saving money while enjoying a great outdoor experience will appeal to a wide cross-section of consumers.”