America’s campground meets Millennials where they’re at
KOA is one of America’s great legacy brands…anyone who has ever camped has probably spent a night in one of its campgrounds. But with every legacy brand comes legacy reputations, and so KOA came to MMGY Origin to refresh theirs. The goal: talk to the new generation of wanna-be campers—a Millennial parent who knows getting their family outside is important, but also knows that with everything they’ve got going on in their lives, that is no easy task.
KOA has a loyal following of Baby Boomers who were introduced to the brand in their family-rearing days, and transitioned nicely into loyal KOA RV-ers. And while that kind of brand loyalty is never a bad thing, it became a problem when that generation of camper began shrinking and the outsized Millennial camping audience didin’t understand or resonate with the brand. Origin’s challenge was simple: introduce KOA to Millennial families, and help them understand how camping will enhance their lives.
To make this connection, we tapped the insight that Millennial parents feel the time pressures associated with their work, social and family obligations. Trying to squeeze one more to-do on their list, like “take the kids camping this weekend”, was not going to move the mark. So instead, we decided to show them all the ways that camping can make life’s obligations more fun—from their kid’s birthday party to a parent’s retirement gathering, to a long-postponed family reunion.
“We tapped the insight that Millennial parents feel the time pressures associated with their work, social and family obligations. So we decided to show them all the ways that camping can make life’s obligations more fun.”
Origin’s creative team developed the insight-driven tagline “It’s Why We KOA” and then set out to capture new photo and video assets of Millennial families enjoying life’s occasions at a KOA. Each headline and image tied into the tagline with suggestions such as “A better birthday party” or “The overdue family reunion”. The look and feel is aspirational yet welcoming, with clear ties to KOA’s legacy yellow and well-known logo, with the intention of developing top-funnel creative that would inspire these families to get out and camp.
At execution, Origin produced a full-funnel campaign for YouTube pre-roll, digital display, paid social and supported the email and social team with assets.
The result was the first high-funnel brand awareness campaign for KOA in many years, and the first-ever targeting Millennials.
In recent years, KOA has watched the number of new campers explode. In 2022, 58.5 million people camped, a 40% increase from 2019, and MMGY Origin's “It's Why We KOA” perfectly speaks to this new generation of campers. From family reunions to birthday celebrations to traditional camping, the campaign hits at the core of what KOA represents - to connect people to the outdoors and each other - all while driving a significant boost in our reservations.