The thought of traveling anywhere outside of the safe perimeter of your own backyard may seem daunting—maybe even impossible—in the midst of a pandemic, but Visit Florida and Outside Magazine are hoping to stir up wanderlust for a time when vacationing in prehistoric caverns and rare coral reefs is feasible again.
To unveil the Sunshine State’s lesser-known opportunities for exploration in and around nature, Visit Florida, Florida’s official tourism marketing corporation and its Tampa-based creative strategy agency Spark, called on the sun’s rays for help. Utilizing UV-sensitive photochromic inks, Spark designed an interactive map that reveals unexpected Florida adventures when exposed to sunlight.
From bioluminescent kayaking to America’s first underwater art museum, the solar-powered map shines a spotlight on outdoor adventures that takes visitors beyond South Beach and Gringotts Wizarding Bank at Universal Orlando, and into terrain less traversed by tourists. In collaboration with active lifestyle media brand Outside Magazine, the “Follow Your Sunshine” map is being sent to the publication’s 337,500 subscribers east of the Mississippi for its June/July travel issue.
“There will be a time when people travel again,” Staci Mellman, CMO of Visit Florida, said in a statement. “They will be looking for experiences where they can explore the beautiful outdoors. Florida has these kinds of experiences in abundance and this map provides a fun and compelling way to discover Florida’s hidden gems.”
The initiative is part of a larger, pre-Covid-19 campaign that highlights the state’s wealth of natural escapes and provides users the opportunity to “follow their sunshine” on a Florida adventure. The QR code displayed on the maps drives to a landing page that uncovers these specific destinations across the state. The landing page for the map has had about 1,500 visitors as of right now.
“To be sure, that figure would have been higher with the momentum of a full blown campaign in market, but given that it is a secondary metric on an a strategy designed for awareness we are excited,” a spokesperson for Visit Florida told Adweek.
A 67-second spot was produced to further promote the campaign, exhibiting the spots Florida is most famous for and the ones that can be discovered with the map. The video also reveals how the solar-charged map presents itself, indoors and out.
Though the effort was planned prior to shutdowns and flight cancellations, the map is still functional—so long as its readers step outside into the sun. And it still serves its initial purpose to remind jet-setters about Mother Nature’s magic, which abounds in between the swamps and the mangroves and the warm crystalline waters of Florida.