- Visit Seattle has launched a video miniseries called "The Emerald Race" to tell the city's story in an authentic and entertaining way, according to news made available to Marketing Dive. Created with the agency PB& and in partnership with CBS and the production company Scheme Engine, "The Emerald Race" is hosted by Seattle native and "The Bachelor" vet Catherine Lowe, though it takes its inspiration from a different reality TV series, "The Amazing Race."
- The show, whose first episode aired Sept. 18, features six former contestants of "The Amazing Race" who are tasked with exploring Seattle, meeting up with local celebrities like the music producer Ryan Lewis and the Seahawks' defensive end Michael Bennett along the way.
Visit Seattle has a track record with successful TV content. In less than two years, it has produced six shows with an average 70% view through rate, along with driving almost 22 million views on YouTube and over 88 years of watch time with the city, per the release.
"The Emerald Race" serves as an example of how travel brands are thinking outside the traditional advertising box to attract visitors to their cities. Ali Daniels, SVP and CMO for Visit Seattle, noted in the release that consumers' travel-planning habits have shifted considerably with the rise of video content and social media, in particular, which might force marketers to think about being ever-present as opposed to only targeting those about to book a ticket.
"Our goal is to create content that people will seek out and enjoy, keeping Seattle top of mind, even when they may not be thinking about their next trip," she said in a statement.
The video miniseries, which essentially doubles as a native ad campaign, also points to how brands are more often creating Hollywood-style content, blurring the line between entertainment and marketing. By utilizing recognizable people from popular reality shows — and, in this case, cribbing elements from one of those shows, "The Amazing Race" — Visit Seattle will likely deliver on the entertainment value.
The organization's won praise for its previous video efforts, snagging Ad Age's Best Branded Content of the Year award and a nomination for the Tribeca X Award, the release said.