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Million dollar ad campaign on a shoestring budget

We are a tourism promotion company and are planning to major promotion in a large metropolitan city in the northeast. A few years ago, our local tourism board spent a million dollars in television advertising to draw people to our community. It failed to produce acceptable results.

We plan to achieve respectable results with very little money invested in the advertising. First, we will take advantage of the empty rooms in the auberges and hotels and the empty chairs on the ski lift. Sponsors will provide facilities for 50 free vacations to be given away and these rooms and ski tickets donated will cost the sponsors next to nothing. The materials needed to conduct the drawing, one million entry forms and one thousand entry boxes to put them in will cost very little considering their value. We will print four-color forms with advertising material for the sponsors on them and estimate the total cost at less than $10,000. In order to place these boxes and entry forms in 1000 locations, we will be enlisting the support of a beverage company who already visits all of these locations each week in the course of delivering product. After the entry forms are received, we will engage a call center to call each participant to offer a discounted vacation. The call center will be paid a commision on each sale, so the cost will not accrue to the advertising budget, but rather will be a cost of sale.

With a little creativity, you can make your advertising dollars go a long way. - by rlabston
What were your final results with this campaign rlabston? Any lessons learned in the process? - by SpeedRacer
What were your final results with this campaign rlabston? Any lessons learned in the process?
Yes, speedracer, there was a lesson learned. It is necessary to get an early start before kicking off this type of campaign.

I posted this plan back in March. In order to sell vacation packages for the winter season, we need to start telemarketing no later than August or September. Before telemarketing, we need to start collecting names and phone numbers of the prospects (via a drawing for a vacation give away) in June or July. In order to start the drawing, we have to have the sponsors lined up 30 days prior in order to have marketing materials printed. Most marketing plans require a minimum of 60 days to move through the corporate approval process. That puts us back to March as the latest timeframe for talking to corporate sponsors. We were not far enough along in the planning and execution last March to proceed.

In the meantime, spring came and other priorities arose (like building my new house). So this marketing plan will recommence when the snow starts flying again for next year. I'll let you know how thigs proceed when we are once again under way. - by rlabston
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