client profile: The Oceanfront Merchants Association is an organization formed in the fall of 2006 by several business owners on the oceanfront in downtown Myrtle Beach. In the wake of the iconic Pavilion amusement park closing in 2006, This group saw a need to not let the closing of the Ocean Boulevard’s largest and best known attraction send the area into a downward economic spiral. This group decided instead to be proactive and pool their efforts to promote the downtown as the city’s only seaside family-fun vacation and entertainment destination in the heart of the Grand Strand.

the challenge: The closing of the iconic Pavilion amusement park in 2006, created a gap in the “family fun” activities that once existed in the downtown area of Myrtle Beach.  Despite the collective goal of the group, there was no organized brand for the promotions and little awareness.

the plan: Collins + Company created a marketing campaign to launch the brand, raise awareness and promote the collection of free events to re-establish the downtown as a “family fun” destination. The integrated multi-media campaign included the new brand identity for Hot Summer Nights; new print campaign; new outdoor campaign, downtown lamp post banners; website; posters; rack cards; and radio promotions.

the result: With the launch of the marketing campaign in 2009, the highest expectations of the Oceanfront Merchants Association members were surpassed with an estimated +25% increase of daily attendance over the previous year.