Through focus groups and research, it was determined that consumers viewed the Lone Star State as being dusty, full of cowboys and lacking in culture. Texas could not just tell people their perceptions were off-base through traditional advertising, it had to show them, and the only way to do that was to let people experience the real Texas.

The result was Texas on Tour, a coast-to-coast interactive, high-tech mobile marketing experience that introduced potential visitors to the state’s unexpected activities and hidden gems, a total multisensory experience. Using virtual reality goggles, guests were able to experience Texas’ waterways, traveling through the rapids of Big Bend Country canyons and the Bayou. They could also experience Texas’ magnificent shoreline in a green-screen room that even enabled them to smell the beach. Follow-up email and surveys lengthened the engagement, building a relationship between prospect travelers and the state.

Texas on Tour attracted more than 2 million people, garnering more than 8 million road impressions. A combined 50,000 people requested a travel guide and registered at Texas on Tour.

Surveys indicated that Texas on Tour had an immediate impact on consumers’ perception of the state and remained strong three months later. The initial survey showed a 23% positive change in attitude as a result of the Texas on Tour experience, with nine out of 10 agreeing to take action to pursue their new interest in the state.