North Tahoe marketing effort now online | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe marketing effort now online

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

Image courtesy of Smith and JonesThe "N is for North" marketing campaign that began last fall will launch its new Web site, www.GoTahoeNorth.com, within the next few weeks. The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau joined forces in the campaign to sell the North Shore as a whole.

The marketing campaign that has included magazine ads, e-mail blasts and a billboard over the San Francisco Bay Bridge will soon introduce a new Web site.

As part of “N is for North,” the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association will launch http://www.GoTahoeNorth.com within the next three weeks, said Andy Chapman, the resort association’s tourism director.

“To really get someone from out of the area, [we] need a compelling Web site to truly show what the destination has to offer,” said Mike Williams, director of Web services for Smith and Jones, the marketing company managing the campaign. “The goal of the page is to unite the whole North Shore.”

Four goals of the Web site include putting “heads in beds” at area hotels and motels, selling the whole North Shore as a destination, building a solid database, and simple online navigation for both the resort association and visitors, according to Smith and Jones.

Additionally, the Web site will use Yahoo maps for visitors to explore the North Shore online. Resort association members will also be posted on the maps, Williams said.

The new Web site offers information on Lake Tahoe as a whole, the North Shore region, as well as assets of each individual community on the North Shore, said Pam Jahnke, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Business Association.

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Right now the Web site is a landing page that directs visitors to the existing North Lake Tahoe and Incline Village/ Crystal Bay pages.

Because the natural environment and accompanying activities are the most important elements of the North Shore, these images are highlighted through photography by Tom Zikas, a Kings Beach resident, in print ads, the billboard and throughout the Web site.

“Whether you’re a sanctuary seeker or an adventure seeker, you get the message right away,” said Greg Gibboney, Smith and Jones design director, at the Jan. 10 resort association board meeting.

In addition to the upcoming Web site, the resort association will promote 11 North Shore neighborhoods with “180 degrees of North,” highlighting specific characteristics of each community from Sand Harbor to Emerald Bay including Truckee.

The regional map is “one of the first pieces that will have a chance to feature the personalities of the neighborhoods,” said Cathy Davis, senior account executive for Smith and Jones.

Each community will be represented with its own color palette and have a unique icon. The maps, available within the next month, will be distributed around the lake at lodging properties and other businesses, chambers of commerce and in rack cards along the Interstate 80 corridor, Davis said.

The local business communities contributed to the neighborhood map, highlighting features and characteristics of their own communities, Jahnke said.

The new branding is an expansion on the former “Pure Experiences” effort to clearly tell visitors what and where North Tahoe is. “N is for North” unites the Nevada and California sides of the North Shore in a partnership between the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau.

The purpose of the overall campaign is to create a fresh look, evoke a personal response and relate the new brand to the former “Pure Experiences” brand, according to Smith and Jones. The simple “n” graphic was brought in because it is memorable and will be useful in branding, Gibboney said.

Differentiating the North Shore from the South Shore is also a key aspect, said Bill Hoffman, executive director of Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau, in a previous interview with the Sierra Sun.

But it’s not a matter of competing with South Lake Tahoe, rather it’s an effort to highlight the uniqueness of each region around the lake, said Jahnke.

Once the visitors are brought to the area, it’s the job of the business groups or individual lodging facilities and restaurants to advertise special events or activities, she said.

“[The new campaign] gives one voice for North Lake Tahoe,” Davis said. “It helps make a much stronger impact with the audience. Instead of having a fragmented message, they’re hit over and over with one message.”