Creative Testing

Advertising is the heart of tourism promotion. It can elevate a destination and generate significant benefits for communities – not only attracting visitors, but also building community pride, and enhancing awareness and reputation for business development and relocation.


The cost of creative development, production and media are significant investments; often consuming the majority of a destination organization’s budget. Advertising is often intensely scrutinized by elected officials, the public, the media and tourism stakeholders.


Pre-testing advertising creative can significantly increase the effectiveness of a campaign.


Our studies are based on proven methodologies and are customized for the needs of each client. We have developed benchmarks that not only compare results, but also help to target improvement.


SMARInsights understands the complexity of advertising. Our studies identify what resonates most with consumers, what motivates behavior, and what distinguishes a destination from its competition.

Case study: Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association

Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association

In spring 2012, the ICVA partnered with SMARInsights to gather feedback on a proposed new advertising campaign.


SMARInsights held a series of six focus groups in three cities to gather information that would help refine and finalize the concepts to maximize the impact of the advertising. In addition, the research helped assess ICVA’s current brand position, and explored options for better positioning the city.


The results were key insights about trip motivations and destination selection for “escapes” and “getaways” (which were found to be different), information gathering, and image considerations including the use of “Indy” vs. “Indianapolis.” These findings enabled ICVA to sculpt an advertising campaign that equipped consumers with the kind of information they need to choose Indianapolis as a leisure trip destination. 

Other projects

Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau
Ocala/Marion County Convention & Visitors Bureau
South Carolina Dept of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Missouri Division of Tourism
Arizona Office of Tourism
Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
Hamilton County Tourism