Hawaii, the Islands of Aloha

Using the indirect approach to uncover hidden motivators

In 1993, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) asked Longwoods to conduct image research for the state. HVCB was looking to boost tourism revenue, for the state’s economy was heavily dependent on it.

Their brand at the time, “The Most Beautiful Islands in the World,” had evolved out of earlier consumer research. HVCB had asked visitors why they came to Hawaii, and the visitors had responded:

“We came to relax. We came for the beach.”

The problem was that, when asked a direct question, they had given a left-brain, logical response.

They thought they had travelled to Hawaii to relax on the beach, but the reality was that they could just as easily have travelled to California or Florida for the beach, and not paid a premium to do it.
“The Most Beautiful Islands in the World” was failing because it did little to differentiate Hawaii from other beach destinations that were cheaper and easier to get to.

What people said they wanted

beach A relaxing day on a sunny beach.

What people actually wanted

Hawaii_culture To experience the unique culture of Hawaii.

The New Campaign

Armed with these revelations, HVCB set out to rebrand the state with the new campaign “The Islands of Aloha”, which emphasized Hawaii's unique culture and traditions.

"Islands of Aloha" TV Campaign
The Money Report, News 4, Hawaii

Longwoods tracked the impact of the “Islands of Aloha” and found that the new campaign had managed to successfully differentiate Hawaii from other beach destinations. ROI research revealed that the campaign, which had cost just under $8 million, was responsible for and additional 757,000 trips in 1994, which amounted to over $1billion in additional visitor spending, and over $75 million in tax revenue for the state.

Related Press

Study says ads lured many to isles

The emergency $10 million advertising campaign that the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau launched in 1997 to attack a slump in tourist arrivals paid off, according to a market study. The campaign brought in an estimated 695,000 people in the following 14 months and they spent $
Continue Reading →

Governor signs bill benefiting tourism industry

Gov. Cayetano signed S.B. 2259 Thursday to create the Hawaii Tourism Authority and to double tourism funding. The tourism fund will get 2.75 percent of the transient accommodation tax or approximately $59 million, more than double the $26 million previously budgeted.
Continue Reading →

Study: HVCB ads drew isle visitors

The $10 million that the state spent last spring on an emergency program to boost Hawaii’s waning tourism industry paid off handsomely, according to a study made public today. Altogether 3.2 million Americans and 5.1 million Japanese made plans to visit Hawaii between the beginn
Continue Reading →

State funds for tourism do pay off, study says

A Toronto consulting firm hired by the HVCB finds $7.9 million in spending led to $1 billion in revenue State spending on tourism promotion clearly pays off by boosting the flow of tourists and adding to state tax revenues, according to a consulting firm’s final report from a th
Continue Reading →

State must develop goals if HVCB is to meet them

In a previous column, I wrote about establishing a stable, predictable source of funding for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. With about 50 percent of Hawaii’s economy directly and indirectly dependent on travel and tourism, tourism marketing is the best investment gov
Continue Reading →