Just as consumers begin to plan their summer getaways, the media has turned its attention to RVing as both an affordable and surprisingly “green” family vacation option, according to a release fro the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Environmentalist and full-time RVer Brian Brawdy was the subject of “On the Road, Off the Grid,” an April 15 story in the Chicago Sun-Times that focused on Brawdy’s commitment to adventure and environmentally friendly RVing. Echoing the sentiments of thousands of Americans who love RVing, Brawdy told the Sun-Times reporter, “Some of the greatest moments in science, the classics — they come when man is alone in nature. And there’s something about waking up in a different place every morning … it’s something I just can’t shake. It’s addictive.”
The Chicago Tribune also reported positively on RVing this month with “Resort Campgrounds Grabbing Bigger Share of Vacation Dollars,” highlighting the continued popularity of resort campgrounds among family vacationers looking to “save a buck without sacrificing comfort and fun.” The article noted many of the family-friendly amenities offered by campgrounds and reported that while hotel reservations are currently down significantly, resort campgrounds are expecting a spike in reservations this year.
In a segment titled “Go RVing and Go Green” on the popular Fox and Friends morning show April 18, RVIA President Richard Coon touted the RV industry’s innovations in creating fuel efficient, environmentally friendly RVs.
The Fox and Friends segment, secured through the efforts of RVIA’s public relations team, featured Forest River’s R-Pod ultra-light travel trailer and Damon’s Avanti Class A motorhome as examples of the industry’s latest innovations. As the camera panned the units’ features, Coon discussed the affordable amenities offered by both models, saying about the towable, “This unit is smaller, lighter, but it’s compact -and has everything in it.” He pointed out that ultra-light travel trailers like this are small enough to be hauled by the new crossover SUVs or even a minivan. About the motorhome Coon said, “It’s one of the new, high efficiency, eco-friendly diesels. I have a Suburban that I drive that gets somewhere between 14, 15, 16 miles per gallon – and this gets the same.”
The Miami Herald’s Lisa Sidmunsun highlighted RVing as one out-of-the-ordinary vacation option for Baby Boomers, saying, “For all those “easy riders” who long to roam – but want a little comfort when they do – renting a recreational vehicle (or RV) is a great way to go. Not only are they economical – RV vacations average 27% to 61% less than other types of getaways, gas included – they tend to be less stressful because you don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule, or worry about things like packing and unpacking, or rushing to catch a flight.”
RVIA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella said, “RVIA’s public relations team is working hard to ensure that RVing is touted by the media this spring as the family-friendly, affordable, and green-friendly vacation our industry knows it to be. Especially in the current economic environment, RVing has never been a better deal for families looking for adventure.”
RVIA’s PR team will broaden the impact of positive news stories and video segments by linking to the stories from Twitter and Facebook. “Green” stories also appear in www.GoRVing.com’s“Going Green” section and all stories are available in the Newsroom at www.rvia.org.
An improvement in Go RVing’s new unit assessments in March is allowing the industry campaign to start earlier with the direct response cable TV and Internet advertising in its limited 2009 budget, according to a news release.
Instead of June, Go RVing direct response cable advertising will now begin in mid-April, providing a boost to kick off the spring RV selling season just as consumers slightly relax their grip on their wallets in response to deep discounting and lower energy prices.
The five most cost-efficient lead-generating networks in Go RVing’s media plan were selected for the April launch. These include The Weather Channel, Travel Channel, Outdoor Channel, History Channel and DIY.
Direct response TV spots cost significantly less because the networks are able to place them wherever time is available within the dayparts selected by Go RVing. More networks will be added over the course of the summer as Go RVing’s income allows. The direct response cable buy will now end in September rather than November 2009.
Internet advertising will now begin May 1 on Google and Yahoo’s search engines and Advertising.com, and end in October rather than November.
“Direct response cable and Internet advertising are effective Go RVing web traffic and lead builders, which should help dealers and campgrounds identify more prospects for this crucial summer travel season,” said Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president and chief marketing officer.
“We need to be in the marketplace with the Go RVing message now, competing for people’s discretionary dollars,” he added. “RVIA’s recent Campfire Canvass survey shows that consumer interest in buying an RV is still strong, so the time is right to motivate buyers to act through our advertising.”
“Because Go RVing new unit assessments were better than originally forecast for March, we had the cash flow to be able to start more ads this spring sooner than originally scheduled – which we believe will help the industry get back on its feet sooner.”