Domination to Destination: How Sand Valley Resort Whipped Up Wanderlust and Web Traffic

February 20, 2024

There are worse problems for an advertiser to have than an abundance of riches.

But that was the heart of the challenge for Sand Valley Resort, a destination that Forbes called “the best golf resort you’ve never heard of.” Sure, Central Wisconsin might fly beneath the radar for most vacationers. But Chicago is less than four hours away, a drive well worth it to play two of Golf Digest’s top 30 layouts in the country.

And while Sand Valley is best known for its five golf courses, that’s just the beginning. This is a four-season destination, offering literally dozens of activities and amenities across water, ice, snow, and sand. From the out of home advertiser’s point of view, that is a lot to talk about. So how did Sand Valley tell its whole story to the affluent Chicago audiences who fill its rooms and play its links?

Two words: Station Domination.

No, that’s not a play the Bears run on third and long. It’s when a single advertiser takes over every advertising position within a subway or commuter rail station, creating a fully immersive effect in a location with a high dwell time and a large audience.

Metra, Chicago’s commuter rail system, is the nation’s busiest outside New York City. That means its center city termini are the places where Station Dominations reach large chunks of Chicagoland in one fell swoop. In addition to Ogilvy Transportation Center, Millennium Station, and LaSalle Street Station, we offer this powerful product in OTC:MetraMarket, the retail and dining destination adjacent to the OTC, and home of the popular French Market.

Sand Valley placed 23 backlit dioramas throughout OTC:MetraMarket, creating a brand moment as it saturated commuters with various images of the resort in all its year-round glory. And like all static transit advertising formats, those dioramas provided 100% share of voice to a valuable audience of upscale, suburban professionals.

Waking up wanderlust with OOH advertising on Chicago commuter rail is only the first step for prospective Sand Valley guests. Fortunately, they proved eager to take the next one! QR codes and calls to action were included in order to activate those consumers and activate they did – leading to a 100% increase in year-over-year Web traffic (SOURCE: Google Analytics). The impact was immediate and sustained.

Sand Valley Resort Station Domination media at OTC:MetraMarket
“Utilizing OUTFRONT’s large variety of displays really allowed us the freedom to tell our brand story,” said Erin Belza, Creative Director, Sand Valley. “We were able to take into account the different traffic patterns of visitors and leverage the location of display placements to get our message across in a very impactful way.”

Ultimately, Sand Valley’s strategy was simple: be where your guests are – and be irresistible. It’s a winning formula for advertisers across the entire travel industry, who know the dividends paid by a great out of home campaign in a feeder market.

Are you ready to tee up success and bring in bookings? Let’s talk about impacting your audience.

Author: Jay Fenster, Marketing Manager @ OUTFRONT

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