Case Study: Michigan Beachtowns

Michigan BeachtownsOverview
Michigan Beachtowns Inc., an association of nine convention & visitors bureaus from the west coast of Lake Michigan with a shared goal to promote tourism to the lakeshore communities. 

Challenge
The cooperative promotional effort includes a website (beachtowns.org) serving as the online presence of the Michigan Beachtowns group. The site required a redesign to better promote the region and the new design needed to include a special marketing effort devoted to the historic roadway, the West Michigan Pike. The West Michigan Pike was the first continuous paved road from Chicago to Mackinaw City. It was completed in 1922 opening west Michigan to automobile tourism. The website needed to maintain a nostalgic feel for the early days of automobile travel while having a modern images to attract tourist in today’s market. The site also had to represent each of the beach communities equally, displaying information and links to their respective websites.

Solution
The new website was developed using animation and sound to create a feeling for the historic West Michigan Pike and promote the modern attractions of the lakeshore communities. The creative work was a group effort as the site features slideshows, music and videos. In the cooperative spirit, a contact form allows visitors to send an email to any of the beach communities to request information or share their stories from their travels in the West Michigan Pike.

Michigan Beachtowns websiteSolution Highlights
With captivating photographs by Internationally acclaimed Vince Musi, the site entertains as it informs tourists and those reminiscing of the golden days of automobile travel. In partnership with the State of Michigan, Beachtowns has launched advertising campaigns in Chicago, Indianapolis and Michigan. The site’s featured videos are a montage of images, both nostalgic and modern, set to original music.  Also featured is a radio spot from the Pure Michigan campaign narrated by actor and Michigan native Tim Allen. The launch of the new Michigan Beachtowns website has been a great success. With the new design, beachtowns.org has increased traffic to the member sites and received a tremendous amount of traffic from over 33 countries.
 

"We are thrilled with our decision to work with Digital Active for our website. From the onset they were able connect quickly with our vision as well as make suggestions for appropriate upgrades where needed.  We are finished with the first phase of the site and look forward to our continued work with Digital Active for the next two phases." 
Marci Cisneros, Executive Director of Tourism
Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau



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