The U.S. Civil Rights Trail won a gold International Travel & Tourism Award for “Best Regional Destination Campaign,” a first for a U.S. state tourism agency in the award’s multi-year history. Other nominees included campaigns from India, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Luckie began strategic work on the campaign—which is a collaboration between 12 tourism agencies collectively known as Travel South USA—a year before it launched on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2018. The agency designed, built and developed content for the U.S. Civil Rights Trail website, which features over 100 landmarks in 15 states, 360-degree videos of destinations, 15 interviews with foot soldiers who were there during the Civil Rights Movement, more than 250 original and historic photographs, and 185 pages of content.
Under the thematic umbrella of “What Happened Here Changed the World,” Luckie created an integrated marketing campaign to build awareness, generate interest and drive traffic to the site, utilizing consumer print, digital banners, video and television ads, broadcast sponsorships, paid social and trade publications, SEO, influencer marketing and public relations to the marketing mix. In less than six months, the program received 4.3 million impressions from media coverage, generated 119,000 social interactions, more than 17 million social impressions, nearly 1,000 video views on Instagram, and 119,000 website visits. To date the campaign helped generate over 1 million page views
“Three years ago when the National Park Service challenged historians to inventory surviving civil rights landmarks, Georgia State University found 100 in 15 states, which became the foundation of the trail,” said Lee Sentell, director of Alabama Tourism. “We’ve worked with Luckie from the very beginning to bring this amazing project to life. They helped us build a collection of transformational travel experiences that unite the most important destinations and sites in the Civil Rights Movement.”
“This program gives travelers and educators the resources to plan a one-of-a-kind excursion to the American South,” added Liz Bittner, president & CEO of Travel South USA. “The attention it received speaks to its significance as a platform to educate and inspire a new generation of global citizens.”
The international recognition from WTM London is the latest in a series of prestigious awards for the U.S. Civil Rights Trail campaign. It was chosen for a Mercury Award by the U.S. Travel Association in August and Luckie received a national Silver ADDY Award for the USCRT collateral last year.
“This campaign was a full-scale effort for Luckie and it’s been so successful because of our longtime partnership with Alabama Tourism and Travel South—this was a true collaboration from the ideation stage through execution,” said John Gardner, president of Luckie.
“This was more than a client assignment for us, it was very personal,” said Ed Mizzell, executive vice president and managing director at Luckie. “Many events along what is now the Civil Rights Trail took place in our employees’ and partners’ communities; we are honored to play a part in helping families, educators and travelers from around the world experience history firsthand.”
Client team members include Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell and Travel South USA President & CEO Liz Bittner. Luckie team members on the account include, in alphabetical order, Mitch Bennett, David Brothers, Julia Cleveland, John Gardner, Mandee Harvey, Lizzie Holt, John Hunter, Karen Kizzire, Mary Lanaux, Ed Mizzell, Mary Catherine Molay, Lea Anne Newton, Tunde Noibi, Shari Wimberly, Mary Winslow and Miles Wright.
About the U.S. Civil Rights Trail
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a collection of churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks primarily in the Southern states where activists challenged segregation in the 1950s and 1960s to advance social justice. Famous sites such as the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.; Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; the Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth’s where sit-ins began; the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.; and Dr. King’s birthplace in Atlanta, among others. The people, locations and destinations included in the Civil Rights Trail provide a way for families, travelers and educators to experience history firsthand and tell the story of how “what happened here changed the world.” For details about dozens of significant sites and to see interviews with civil rights foot soldiers visit CivilRightsTrail.com.
With offices in Birmingham and Atlanta, Luckie is a full-service marketing solutions firm that fuses data, insights and artful communication into smart marketing solutions. The company’s client roster includes top brands in healthcare, tourism, and consumer packaged goods including GlaxoSmithKline, Regions Bank, Little Debbie, Express Oil Change, and Williamsburg, Va. Privately owned and fiercely independent for more than 65 years, Luckie is one of the top advertising agencies in the South.