The Bachelor, ABC’s hit dating show, recently made a stop in South Dakota. The sixth episode of the season aired on February 9th and featured Deadwood, SD, as a backdrop for a series of dates between the show’s star, Chris Soules, and the six remaining bachelorettes. With Deadwood and its attractions being showcased, the show offered the city and our team a unique opportunity to capitalize on the exposure to millions of viewers around the country.
Leveraging the earned media was not a simple process, though. The show’s visit to Deadwood had to be kept under wraps for several months and our team could not release advertising or promotional media about the show until February 3rd. How could we leverage Deadwood’s feature without releasing the information early?
The primary goal leading up to the episode’s airing was to utilize the earned media to bring more awareness to Deadwood as a vacation destination, drive website traffic, and increase requests for tourism information.
On February 2nd, the day prior to the Deadwood episode, we released a Facebook post teasing an announcement and encouraging followers to “stay tuned.” The next day, several promotional Facebook posts and Tweets were released announcing that Deadwood would be featured on The Bachelor. Along with being active on social media, our team crafted an email to be sent to individuals listed in Deadwood’s database, inviting recipients to viewing parties and teasing Bachelor-themed vacation packages.
While pre-air promotion built buzz about the episode, our team was busy creating new pages for the Deadwood tourism website. The site’s homepage was edited to feature a picture of Chris Soules presenting the show’s signature single red rose, and new copy was added to include information about The Bachelor visiting Deadwood.
We continued capitalizing on Deadwood’s new prominence the day after the show aired by sending a second email to the Deadwood database, offering specific details about the themed packages and how the recipients could experience the attractions featured on the show. Paid Facebook and Twitter ads were also used to promote the new packages to a wider audience.
The airing of the episode was a massive success, attracting 8.7 million viewers, which was the most viewed episode of the season at the time. Chris and the bachelorettes explored popular Deadwood attractions and the natural beauty of the Black Hills, showing South Dakota as an ideal destination for a romantic vacation.
Additional results included:
A 200% increase in web traffic to the Deadwood website
586 Facebook post shares
1,100 Facebook post Likes
The relationship between the city of Deadwood and the team, along with the hard work of everyone involved, helped the strategy attain the goals set prior to the campaign. The team was able to effectively leverage the earned media from The Bachelor’s visit to Deadwood and shine a spotlight on one of South Dakota’s best vacation destinations.