Friday, October 31, 2014

Tailgate in an RV?

The RV industry has announced a new campaign based on the strategy of positioning RVs as the ultimate party venue.  To communicate this idea to its target, the trade association has launched the Tailgate Tour.  The intent is to have a major presence at select marquee football games complete with famous chef  and player appearances, photo ops, games and giveaways.  Oh and yes, you can check out the RVs too. 

The effort also includes experiential events with Outside Magazine, Garden & Gun and Country Living.
(Faw, 2014)

This is a huge change from their previous effort which focused on the idea of using RVs for guest houses.  

Here is a link to the blog that I wrote about it.

That effort started five years of consecutive growth for the industry.  Do you think this campaign will do the same?

Faw, L. (2014, October 30)  The Richards Group Activates Experiential Campaign To Expand Appeal of RVs.  Retrieved October 31, 2014, from


  1. The economy is improving and the market job has unemployment rate lower than August 2008 (weeks before Lehman Brother's bankruptcy), so people are starting to pamper themselves with some extravagancies again. I believe that consumers might be attempted by this RV approach: Tailgate for football games using RV's.

    Millennials are very well-known for being the YOLO (You Live Only Once) generation, enjoying unique experiences, festivals, travels. If the RV trade association really touch this emotional button, they might come just right.

    I personally like more the previous brand positioning (RV's as guest houses), however I know that this new positioning statement is for a very strict target niche that I'm not part of it.

  2. This one is a difficult one to take a call on. I don’t know anyone who owns an RV. It definitely caters to a very niche audience, one I have personally never associated with.

    I think this campaign is targeting two audiences. One that is into outdoorsy, adventurous stuff and likes to travel, and the other one is the partygoer who is looking for novel experiences.

    To the outdoorsy, adventurous audience, the RV is functional, fun, and almost like a second home. They are probably already partying in their RVs when they are traveling long distances. The association is more adventure than partying for them, I think. I don’t see how this new positioning will alienate them. I think it will not have any effect on them.

    On the other hand, the minimum cost of owning an RV is $25,000. That’s a steep cost for owning an alternate party place. While the RV may serve as a fun place to party a few times, the novelty might soon wear off. I don’t see a lot of people spending that sort of money to own an RV to party. I think this new positioning might not have much long-term returns.

    Overall, I believe, this might be an ineffective campaign.

  3. I think the Tailgate Tour campaign is a creative way to advertise the product. Recently reading the JWT trends report, "Meet the BRIC Millennials”" and going through your previous blog, I feel the RV Industry may be in a unique position today catering to their niche market segment - The Millennials.

    Studies suggest that the Millennials, like to pave their own way, take chances and invest wisely. These three reasons may be strong enough to market the RVs to this sector as the ultimate party venue. Life is more stressful for the Millennials, and many trying to achieve the work life balance. The RV can be a good hangout place.

    This makes me think there is a niche market for the RVs.
    And if there happens to be RVs displayed in a football game that I go, I would surely go and check it out.


  4. I personally think this is an interesting advertising campaign idea. In reading the Media Post article it seems like the RV industry is mostly focused on changing their image from stereotypes "associating large motor homes with retired couples driving across the country." I think this tailgating concept is likely to attract a younger consumer than the guest house idea. A separate movable home for partying? Sounds fun, sounds young, changes my preconceived ideas about the RV. That appears to be their goal, and I have to say its intriguing. Though, full disclosure, I don’t tailgate and I can't see myself going out and buying an RV anytime soon, I think the efforts of the industry to expand their image to include a wider variety of customers is an admirable one. Yes the RV has its standard customer base, but it is one that caters to an older demographic. There is no guarantee that without engaging the next generation of consumers that they will have an interest in following the old retiree cross-country trip.

    What intrigues me most about this advertising plan is the efforts to engage in non traditional methods, actually doing some good experiential reach out at sporting events. It makes sense to me that traditional advertising might not be enough to change the RV image, but getting themselves out there at sporting events and changing their product image association in the eyes of the public, making the RV seems like a fun party vehicle. Sounds like they already had success with the previous effort to change the RV in the minds of the public. I actually think that a party vehicle is an image that might appeal to a wider variety of consumers with a broader age range.( So many people of varying ages go to sporting events and tailgate). Somehow guesthouse makes me imagine that I would only buy an RV if I already had a home. That limits the age demographic the idea would appeal to( though clearly the concept raised their sales numbers). Less of the millennial generation are buying homes today ( at least compared to the previous generations at their age), but maybe a party house that can go on the road is just what they need. I’m interested to see how this campaign will pan out numbers wise.

  5. I like the approach of the brand, which is not afraid of experiments and is trying nontraditional ways to reach new target. I agree with James Ashurst, vice president of communications and marketing at GoRVing, that traditional advertising channels like TV commercials or print ads only get a brand to a certain point and experiments allow you to go further. I am also a huge enthusiast of brand promotions during important live events, which gather great crowds. I believe in connection between positive emotions people experience at that moment and its connection with the brands that are present onsite. My only concern is if promoting RVs as a party spaces is a very good idea, since as Anu stated, the novelty might soon wear off. Will the campaign make people buy RVs as a potential party space? I have my doubts here, but generally I like the idea of how this brand approaches new audience.

    Malgorzata Marciniak

  6. I thought the RV industry had dissappared because of the Great Recession, but there has been an increase of 14% in sales for this year. Their position is even stronger nowadays than before. This gives the owners of this company a good and strong starting point to begin engaging old customers and new ones.

    I think the new use for th RV, party venue, is a very good and interesting idea. Its new, fresh, innovative and something never seen before. With out any doubt it will call the attention of a lot of people. Definitely here is a new niche.

    Regarding the campaign named in this block, i wouldn't do it in sports games, because they don't represent anything related with party venue. I would do it in the cities, at night, free giveaways and with famous people appearances. I will like to give the campaign a tone that would be characterized more for night style and exclusiveness, instead of sports and no formalism.
    Now, if the aim is to show and launch the RV for family purposes, trips, and other things that do not mean party, i will be supportive of the Talgiate Tour.

  7. In my personal opinion I really like RV’s but I’ve never own one and don’t know anybody who do. I think is a very American thing to own one or use one and this is a very innovative way to promote the product. If they advertise it through the right canals (to the niche market of the millennial’s) it could be very successful.

    Gabriella Rodriguez