Sign near Times Square pushes Web interest in area
Manhattanites navigating the urban canyons of New York City have sought succor in the real canyons of Colorado National Monument, enough so that they represent the third-largest number of hits on the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau mobile website.
The hits on the site are tied to the ad that ran at 42nd and 7th streets near Times Square, signs that reminded New Yorkers that there was something more than asphalt and concrete.
“They walk by that gorgeous picture and they would type the URL into their phones” to see more of what the Grand Valley had to offer, said Mistalynn Meyeraan, who directs VCB marketing and public relations.
The Grand Valley panorama, which can be viewed at http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/grandjunctionvcb-overview, was on display for most of the first quarter of the year. Its run ended April 14.
The VCB and Grand Junction Economic Partnership split the $17,000 cost of the ad, which came available because ads for a violent video game were rejected, Meyeraan said.
Normally, ads running on that electronic billboard during that period cost $75,000 to $105,000, Meyeraan said.
Officials realized they had hit upon a bargain when they researched the origin of hits on their offerings.
“We’re just so surprised that New York was number three,” with 1,252 visits, or 4.5 percent, Meyeraan said.
The No. 1 source of hits was Denver, followed by Grand Junction.
A similar billboard in Denver would cost $6,000, with “not quite same amount of traffic” as the 1.5 million people who pass by the Times Square billboard every week, Meyeraan said.
The VCB and partnership got the deal because a sales manager for the CBS billboard had read a story on biking wine country and bookmarked the VCB website for personal use.
When the video game ad fell through, the manager contacted the VCB, which took the offer, Meyeraan said.
“He noticed our website update this past fall and thought the imagery would translate well to the electronic billboard,” she said.
There’s no way to connect visitation to hits emanating from Times Square, Meyeraan said.
The VCB, however, has noticed an increase in interest on the web, and from hoteliers in Grand Junction, from Salt Lake City residents, she said.
The VCB in response has stepped up its advertising in Salt Lake, Meyeraan said.