Grow Boating Initiative posted positive benchmarks across the board since its March debut, according to the program's organizers.
"Grow Boating has yielded promising results, including impressive numbers in the marketing campaign's first six months," said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and newly elected president of Grow Boating Inc., in a statement.
More than 3,000 television spots aired, averaging 300 commercials each week. Nearly $1 million in additional coverage was garnered through custom-made vignettes, sponsorships and special projects.
The 1.5 billion ads and commercials, plus the 163 million free media mentions boosted the initiative's profile, organizers said.
A sampling of target consumers, conducted by Russell Research prior to March, found 1 in 20 had heard of Discover Boating. Following this year's advertising efforts, consumer awareness increased to 1 in 4. Consumers responded favorably to the campaign, with print ads reaching 68 percent likeability and television spots receiving 76 percent likeability. The enhanced awareness is expected to lead to an increase in boat sales.
Marketing efforts spurred a surge in traffic to the re-designed DiscoverBoating.com Web site. As of Sept. 30, the site saw a 250-percent increase from last year.
GBI has distributed nearly 41,000 Get Started in Boating DVDs to prospective boaters. The database includes more than 50,000 prospects, including 13,000 who have requested direct dealer/manufacturer contact. In addition, nearly 159,000 direct manufacturer Web site referrals were made.