Tourism Advertising and Marketing Services For Texas Governor
The OOG seeks written proposals from qualified Respondents in accordance with the specifications contained in this RFP for Tourism Advertising and Marketing Services.
It is the mission of the Travel Texas program to market Texas as a premier travel destination to domestic and international travelers, thereby generating travel to Texas destinations that increase revenues and creates jobs for Texas communities.
Background and Positioning
The major vehicle used to market Texas tourism is the “Let’s Texas®” advertising campaign. Since it was first launched in 2019, this campaign has helped encourage travel and tourism, which is a critical component of the Texas economy and an economic development driver. “Let’s Texas®” is an invitation. A friendly challenge to explore all the state has to offer. By turning the state name into a verb, a trip to Texas is presented as an experience like no other. Texas is not the only state with beaches, hiking trails or five-star restaurants, but these attractions come with a side of true Texas spirit that one cannot get anywhere else. This advertising creates positive consumer perceptions about Texas and raises consumer awareness of the state as a premier tourist destination. Domestically, the OOG uses the slogan, “Let’s Texas®” along with the iconic shape of the state. This same phrase and logo are used in English-speaking international markets, where appropriate. In all other international markets the shape of Texas is used along with the phrase “Travel Texas.”
Advertising is OOG’s primary tourism marketing tool and the Advertising section oversees the OOG’s advertising contract and campaign. Advertising efforts are outsourced via a contract with a Full-Service Advertising Agency, the procurement of which is the subject of this RFP. Advertising is targeted outside the state on a regional, national, and international basis to generate non-Texan travel to the state. Advertising media utilized in the campaign include but are not limited to digital, print, television, social and Out-of-Home. In addition to the primary domestic U.S. market, advertising campaigns run in the primary international markets of Mexico, Canada, the U.K., Germany, China, Brazil and Australia.
All advertising includes call-to-action messages that urge consumers to visit the OOG’s website, www.TravelTexas.com. TravelTexas.com is an interactive consumer website that provides a wealth of information about Texas communities and attractions, as well as links to many Texas Partners’ websites. Management of TravelTexas.com is done through a subcontract via the Full-Service Advertising Agency. It is OOG’s intent that the new advertising Contractor continues to perform this function.
Along with TravelTexas.com, social media sites are an essential component of Travel Texas’ online advertising and marketing efforts. Sites currently used include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. The advertising contractor currently provides elements for social media, artwork, designs, movies and other content that integrates our social media into the campaigns and promotions of the overall advertising effort, but the management of social media content is administered internally in conjunction with Travel Texas’ public relations agency.
Requests for printed literature generated through advertising efforts are forwarded to the Texas Department of Transportation, which publishes and fulfills consumers’ requests with standard Fulfillment Materials consisting of the Texas State Travel Guide, and the Official Texas Travel Map.
The Advertising section also manages cooperative advertising programs to enable Texas Partners to feature their destinations and products through innovative advertising in partnership with the OOG and on OOG-owned media at affordable rates in order to leverage the assets of current OOG advertising.
The Advertising section manages the Travel Texas brand and use of its logo in ancillary marketing programs and coordinates internationally with in-market contractors to provide other marketing services as needed. Branding enables the OOG to effectively market Texas and all of its travel destinations and products throughout the world under the umbrella of a single, readily recognizable Texas travel product.
Public Relations and Marketing
Travel Texas’ Public Relations and Marketing section conduct public relations activities, both domestically and internationally, that are intended to increase travel to the state by marketing and promoting Texas as a premier travel destination to consumers, the media and the travel trade including the meetings market. Traditionally, strategies and tactics pursued have included, but have not been limited to, the following: consumer, media and travel trade, meetings market activities; consumer promotions; representing the state in the domestic and international travel trade and consumer shows; conducting travel trade and media missions and educational seminars; and conducting media and trade familiarization tours (FAM tours) within the state to acquaint the travel trade and media with the Texas travel product. Primary target markets include the United States, Mexico, Canada, U.K., Germany, China, and Australia. Secondary/emerging markets include other European, Asian and Latin American markets (and others markets that may be identified by OOG’s Travel Research throughout the Contract Term).
In addition to its full-service advertising contract, the OOG maintains separate contracts for tourism public relations and marketing representation services to provide public, media and trade relations activities in the domestic and select international markets. Part of the strategy of this activity is to effectively leverage and extend the advertising message in markets where advertising is conducted and to provide a presence in those markets where advertising is limited or non-existent.
Domestically, Public Relations efforts have focused on consumer-direct marketing and promotion activities because research shows domestically, travel decisions are primarily consumer driven. However, because the travel trade remains a highly influential factor in international travelers’ travel planning and trip decision process, marketing to the travel trade in international markets remains a critical component of the overall Public Relations effort.
While Public Relations efforts are primarily targeted outside the state, in-state activities are also conducted from time-to-time to create awareness among the Texas public, the Texas media, and Texas Partners about the importance of tourism as a means of economic development in the state (e.g., Texas Tourism Week and Texas Travel Summit) and to encourage in-state travel by Texans to the state’s scenic, historical, cultural, natural, agricultural, educational, recreational, and other attractions.
Public Relations programs include Cooperative Marketing and Public Relations Programs that enable the Texas Partners to jointly market their destinations and products with the State as part of the OOG’s tourism marketing and promotional activities. Cooperative public relations and marketing opportunities are made available on a regional, national and international basis. Cooperative Public Relations and Marketing Programs offer Texas Partners cost-savings, while extending awareness, reach and exposure of the Texas travel and tourism message and product.
Statement of Work
Services shall include, but are not limited to, the requirements contained in this RFP. Services set forth that contain the words “must” or “shall” are mandatory and must be provided as specified with no alteration, modification, or exception. Goods/services set forth that contain the words “may” or “can” allow Respondents to offer alternatives to the manner in which the services are provided. The requested goods/services and corresponding deliverables are as follows:
General Description of Tourism Advertising Objectives
The Successful Respondent will be required to develop and implement an annual Strategic Marketing Plan that is consistent with Travel Texas’ objectives. These objectives include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following as determined in the sole discretion of the OOG:
4.1.1. Work to use the most innovative and cost-effective advertising and marketing programs to raise awareness of Texas as a premier travel destination;
4.1.2. Develop innovative advertising creative with powerful images and “call to action” messages, together with an effective media strategy in both domestic and international markets as directed by the OOG.
4.1.3. Measurably increase consumer advertising awareness, advertising influenced travel to the state, and advertising influenced spending in the state and consumer advertising engagement and inquiries (“Inquiries”);
4.1.4. Measurably increase non-Texan leisure travel and overnight stays in hotels, motels and other types of paid accommodations that levy the state hotel occupancy tax;
4.1.5. Achieve a competitive return on investment and report on additional industry standard advertising efficiency metrics as determined by the OOG;
4.1.6. Use advertising and marketing strategies, messages, images and media outlets that enhance the image of the State of Texas as a tourist destination, generate consumer response, and are at all times commensurate with the dignity of the State of Texas;
4.1.7. Effectively plan and execute an integrated media plan including, but not limited to, television, digital, social and print media; and
4.1.8. Conduct innovative cooperative advertising and marketing programs that extend the Travel Texas message while generating participation by Texas Partners.
The Contractor shall direct all advertising and marketing efforts to Travel Texas’ primary target markets, which include the United States, Mexico, Canada, U.K., Germany, China, and Australia. Secondary/emerging markets include other European, Asian and Latin American markets (and others markets that may be identified by OOG’s Travel Research throughout the Contract Term).
Advertising and Marketing Capabilities and Services
The Contractor must be an established Full-Service Advertising Agency capable of implementing a comprehensive, strategic, results-driven advertising and marketing campaign, using an effective strategic position and effective branding elements, such as slogan(s) and logo(s) approved by OOG that distinguish Texas from all other travel destinations, clearly position Texas as a premier travel destination, and increase travel to the state. All services must be performed in a manner that is consistent with the OOG’s tourism mission as set forth in Section 3.2 of Part A of the RFP and that fulfills the objectives detailed in Section 4.1 of Part A of the RFP.
The Contractor shall develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive, annual Strategic Marketing Plan, which shall include, at a minimum, a complete schedule of all proposed advertising, media, marketing activities, promotions, other detailed data, and recommendations for target audiences and target markets to promote Texas tourism consistent with the requirements of this RFP and any Contract awarded as a result of this RFP. The Strategic Marketing Plan shall include a detailed budget for all proposed projects, activities, and services to be performed, as well as recommendations of specific goals and measurements that demonstrate the success of the Strategic Marketing Plan in meeting the goals and objectives outlined in the Statement of Work – Services Requirements. The Plan must be based on travel research findings, including the most current travel research performed by Travel Texas. The Plan shall detail the Contractor’s programs and activities for promoting Texas as a premier travel destination. The Contractor shall work with OOG staff in the preparation of the annual Strategic Marketing Plan. The Contractor shall use the approved Strategic Marketing Plan as a guideline for all advertising and marketing campaign activities. The Strategic Marketing Plan will be viewed as a “living document” that may be modified at any time, upon prior written approval of OOG. The Strategic Marketing Plan must be approved in writing by OOG before implementation and all activities and/or changes to the Plan are subject to approval by OOG prior to work being performed. The Plan is due to OOG on or before July 31st of each Fiscal Year, unless an alternate date is authorized in writing by OOG. Subject to revision and approval by the OOG, the Plan as submitted by the Successful Respondent in response to this RFP shall become the Strategic Marketing Plan to be implemented by the Contactor during the first Performance Period of the Contract. At a minimum, the Respondent’s proposed Strategic Marketing Plan shall include:
4.4.1. A detailed explanation for all domestic and international advertising, marketing and promotional activities to be undertaken;
4.4.2. Proposed budget allocation;
4.4.3. An explanation of how the plan supports OOG’s goals and objectives for the year, including all performance measures and targets as are established by OOG management and/or the Legislative Budget Board;
4.4.4. An estimate of the consumer awareness levels the plan will achieve and an explanation of how the plan will reach the stated awareness levels;
4.4.5. Plans for Cooperative Marketing Program activities; and
4.4.6. Integration of the TravelTexas.com and travel.texas.gov web sites.
The Contractor shall be responsible for providing all creative development and production of advertising, marketing and promotional concepts, including but not limited to, advertisements for all forms of media, websites, presentations, photographs, filming, editing, equipment rentals, display materials, trade show materials, consumer activations, collateral material and brochures as required to execute the Strategic Marketing Plan.
4.6.1. The Contractor shall solicit, secure, place and monitor paid and non-paid media time and/or space in various domestic and international media, including but not limited to, television, print, digital, social, radio, and Out-of-Home;
4.6.2. The Contractor shall secure media placements and rates most advantageous to OOG. The Contractor will only be reimbursed for the actual expenses associated with securing the media placements and shall not charge any administrative fee, overhead cost, commission, or mark-up for media placements secured on behalf of the OOG;
4.6.3. The Contractor shall provide the OOG with an estimate of the overall reach and frequency of the media plan and the anticipated consumer awareness levels that can be achieved;
4.6.4. The Contractor shall be responsible for obtaining all required OOG approvals in writing and in advance of any advertising purchases or media placement. The Contractor will not be compensated or reimbursed for any media purchases or placements made on behalf of OOG that have not been pre-approved in writing by OOG; and
4.6.5. The Contractor shall ensure that all media placements were broadcast or published according to any agreed OOG cost estimate, placement contracts or placement instructions. The Contractor will provide, at no cost to the OOG, affidavits, tear sheets or any other placement verification requested by the OOG. Placement verification documents shall indicate the run dates and/or times and the circulation, ratings, or results achieved.
Office of the Governor’s Contact Information. The mailing address of the OOG for all notices is: