Alabama Media Group’s social brand division Red Clay Media aims to entertain, inform, and share stories through powerful identity content. It’s a Southern Thing has cultivated a highly engaged audience of more than 1.2 million on Facebook and nearly 100,000 on Instagram, with the spin-off Facebook show, So True Y’all, garnering an average of 200.8 million views.
Advertisers like Visit Sevierville are leveraging the It’s a Southern Thing audience with native advertising in video spots. The primary objective was for Visit Sevierville to gain exposure to the audience of 100+ million people on the So True, Y’all/It’s a Southern Thing platform.
To achieve that, Visit Sevierville’s campaign included two articles about the popular mountain town, distributed on It’s a Southern Thing’s Facebook page and on southernthing.com. The campaign also featured two sponsored episodes of So True, Y’all. A branded content episode filmed in Sevierville, titled “When Couples Go On Vacation,” ran on the So True, Y’all Facebook Watch page, It’s a Southern Thing Facebook, and YouTube channels, and southernthing.com.
Key performance indicators for this campaign included number of people reached and total number of video views. A big win for the advertiser was the brand alignment they achieved with these enjoyable, light-hearted southern brands.
The campaign aimed to natively engage the audience and get them excited and talking about a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. The branded content episode sought ways to subliminally layer in some of the great things Sevierville has to offer, and the idea that many of the viewers could also plan a weekend getaway to the mountains.
The storyline is a relatable situation with a couple planning a vacation, only to arrive at their destination and find out they’ve planned two very different itineraries. The woman planned to filled her days with shopping, a trip to the spa, etc., while the man planned to spend his time with food, more food, and some moonshine.
Visit Sevierville’s single branded content video alone reached more than 20 million people on Facebook, while its full campaign reached more than 40 million located throughout the South and beyond. Visit Sevierville reaped the benefits of not only being aligned with a highly engaged, loyal audience, but also far exceeded their initial reach goals. “When Couples Go On Vacation” yielded 13.6 million social video views (Facebook and YouTube combined).
This video was well-received by the audience with comments like “I love Sevierville TN” and “Oh, those Tanger outlets in Sevierville. Such memories.” High levels of positive social engagement for the client ultimately resulted in 570,000 likes, comments, and shares. The client was so pleased with the results of the campaign that they signed on for an increased investment and a second annual commitment.