Washington, DC's Yearlong Marketing Campaign Heats Up For "DC Cool Kids"


May 02, 2014, 09:42 ET from Destination DC

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Destination DC, the official tourism and marketing office for the District of Columbia, kicks off their summer 2014 marketing campaign targeting families, through programing and placement. To drive engagement and highlight the many budget-friendly, only-in-DC experiences on and off the National Mall, the bureau will distribute 100,000 copies of a free 8-page DC Cool Kids Activity Guide, an extension of its year-long marketing campaign DC Cool. A printable PDF version of the guide and expanded editorial content can be found on Washington.org/DCcoolkids.

"Travel + Leisure Magazine ranks our city as the #1 destination in America for culture, and with more than 30-plus free museums, dozens of theaters and festivals including the Fourth of July, there are many compelling reasons for families to visit throughout the summer," said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. "Our DC Cool Kids Activity Guide, online content and booking engine connects families with expected and lesser known experiences from the moment they decide to enjoy a summer getaway in Washington DC."

Ads for DC Cool's summer campaign will run in print publications including Food + Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Essence, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and city magazines in major feeder markets like New York, Philadelphia and Boston. More than a third of the total spend is dedicated to digital placements that connect to booking pages on Washington.org, summer activities and DC Cool Kids content pages. Destination DC will also place the $1.8 million campaign with online travel agencies including Orbitz to connect with ready-to-book consumers.

"As we continue to develop the DC Cool campaign, we continuously create research-driven, audience-specific content to engage consumers and inspire them to visit Washington, DC," confirmed Robin McClain, vice president of marketing and communications. "Summer is the busiest season for domestic leisure traveler to the District and our city is synonymous with family travel, so we're excited to debut our first print-piece exclusively for children and drive visitors to our rich online content."

Packed with class DC-themed puzzles including connect-the-dots and word search challenges, the colorful DC Cool Kids Activity Guide also spotlights family activities at five popular DC-area attractions:

  • George Washington's Mount Vernon: Explore the estate with an adventure map (for ages 8 and under) or a spy map (ages 9 and over) to fill in clues and solve puzzles.
  • National Air and Space Museum: Experiment with the four forces of flight, fold and fly a paper airplane and discover the problems that the Wright brothers faced in the How Things Fly Gallery.
  • National Museum of American History: Take an American personality quiz and then use the results to discover more about your inner naturalist, innovator, storyteller, discoverer, ambassador or activist as you encounter objects.
  • National Zoological Park: Coordinate your visit with the daily schedule to meet a giant panda keeper, watch Asian elephants in training, witness a lemur feeding and look out for orangutans overhead.
  • Newseum: Kids are invited to be an anchor in front of a green screen in the NBC News Interactive Newsroom and review clips of their broadcast.

To further inspire visitors, guide-holders are encouraged to visit all five venues, collecting a DC Cool Kids stamp at each attraction. Participants who collect five stamps will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win a summertime trip for four to Washington DC in 2015. DC Cool Kids Activity Guides will be distributed around the city at member hotel concierges and street-side boxes along with Washington, DC's Official Visitor Guide. The guide is supported online with family-friendly content from DC Cool Kid insider picks to free things to do on Washington.org/DCcoolkids. 

"Our goal for DC Cool Kids is to engage more families with Washington, DC," said Elliott Ferguson. "This summer we're celebrating the new developments such as the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, the Cambria Suites at CityMarket at O and the reopening of the Washington Monument that help us to attract visitors, drive the local economy and create jobs. We're looking forward to a busy summer travel season filled with exciting events and milestones such as the 10th anniversary of the DC Jazz Festival, the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and of course, July 4th in our nation's capital. Summer 2014 should be DC Cool."

For more information about what's cool in DC this summer and to take advantage of hotel deals, and to access tips from local experts, itineraries and destination round-ups like top hands-on museums, free summer festivals, and family-friendly dining, visit Washington.org.

About Destination DC
Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 800 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. www.Washington.org

About American Experience Foundation
The American Experience Foundation, a 501(c) (3) public charity, develops national programs promoting education about the arts, culture, American democracy and the unique heritage of Washington, DC by selecting 8th grade classrooms from low-income areas within the United States and DC metropolitan area for fieldtrips to the nation's capital. The foundation, managed by Destination DC with the support from District hospitality organizations, presents the Gregory McCarthy Scholarship annually to an outstanding student at Hospitality High School in Washington, DC.

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SOURCE Destination DC