PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (photo via Flickr/Phil Roeder)
Brand USA, the destination marketing organization tapped with the assignment of promoting the U.S. to overseas visitors, wants to see how far international travelers can go with some help from its latest campaign.
The agency's new interactive campaign, dubbed "See How Far You Can Go," launched in a handful of destinations around the globe Saturday with the goal of driving tourism to the U.S. during what's been a challenging time for the industry.
The campaign will launch in 11 major international markets, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the U.K.
The markets included combine to make up a huge portion of the inbound visitors to the U.S. each year.
"We, as an organization, are focused on our overall goal, which is to welcome 100 million visitors by 2021," Brand USA CEO Chris Thompson told TravelPulse.
The campaign will target various forms of social media and feature unique video content captured from a first person viewpoint designed to make the experience more relatable and shareable.
Thompson said the campaign will focus on a trio of aspects, including possibilities, proximity and personas, with the latter encompassing excitement, local and escape.
"When I go to a destination I want to know what the locals know. Many of the most compelling things about a destination are what the locals know," said Thompson.
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Through proximity, Brand USA will look to showcase the many and often unknown possibilities overseas visitors will have within a few hours of their gateway into the U.S. That component is targeted toward "people who are in a situation where their pockets are challenged or they perceive that their dollars won't go as far," according to Thompson.
The campaign will aim to entice international travelers through realistic content.
"Whatever is motivating them as far as the persona, it [the campaign] invites them to picture themselves in the middle of that and it's a social-first approach, meaning that the creator actually has them in the middle of one of those experiences," added Thompson.
The hope is that users will not only be drawn to the content but share it as well.
"That third party validation of the experience is way more compelling than any way that we could tell the story."
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On top of attracting overseas visitors, Brand USA hopes to educate travel agents and help them build on their ability to sell the U.S. as a can't-miss destination through its USA Discovery Program.
"This is an online training program where the travel trade can go on and select the way they want to be trained, whether it's geography, lifestyle or any number of interests," said Thompson.
The launch of the See How Far You Can Go campaign comes just months after Brand USA overhauled its website VisitTheUSA.com, which now boasts 15 versions in eight different languages.