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Aqua Takes Home Four Flaglers, Including Two Coveted Henry’s

Aqua made an impressive showing at VISIT FLORIDA’S Flagler Awards competition, which took place on August 31, 2022, as part of the annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The statewide competition honors organizations who show exemplary skills in marketing Florida as one of the world’s top travel destinations.

Aqua was recognized for its work for Visit Lauderdale, winning a “Henry” (best of category) for a print advertising campaign and another Henry for the special event category. Other awards included a Silver Flagler for a niche marketing campaign to the LGBT+ audience and a Bronze Flagler for a mixed media campaign.

“It has been an honor to work with Visit Lauderdale as they emerge with a new brand focused on inclusivity and their many new cosmopolitan offerings,” says Dave Di Maggio, Aqua President/CEO. “And we’re just getting started!”

The Flagler awards honor the best marketing and advertising in the state of Florida, but the awards are not based on creativity alone: They’re also based on results. Visit Lauderdale has seen tremendous results from its collaboration with Aqua, finishing up 2021 with hotel revenue up 29% over 2019 (pre-pandemic), totaling $1.36 billion. Greater Fort Lauderdale also had the second highest leisure occupancy in Florida, which surpassed the destination’s major contenders within its competitive set, including Orlando, Miami and Palm Beach/West Palm Beach.

The Henry-winning “Welcome” campaign featured new photography that boldly invited travelers to consider visiting the evolved Greater Fort Lauderdale, highlighting its new cosmopolitan offerings. The print campaign also showcased the recently launched new logo and tagline, “Everyone Under the Sun,” which also added to the destination’s refreshed image and positioning as Florida’s most welcoming destination.

Each ad in the campaign welcomed different travelers, from thrill-seekers and chill-seekers to cocktail connoisseurs and culinary explorers, reinforcing the positioning that the destination welcomes everyone under the sun. The ads showed diverse visitors enjoying diverse experiences signature to Greater Fort Lauderdale, from cruising the world’s yachting capital to revelry at a chic rooftop bar. The audience was strategically targeted and effectively reached through a variety of print publications, including boating-themed and high-end publications such as Travel + Leisure; Yachting; Power & Motoryacht; Robb Report; Modern Luxury; T, The New York Times Style Magazine; Conde Nast Traveler; Southern Living; Town & Country and AFAR.

The Henry-winning special event campaign lured attendees to the historic Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and to enjoy one-of-a-kind, high-end experiences within Greater Fort Lauderdale, capitalizing on the destination’s designation as the “Yachting Capital of the World” and its reputation as a haven for yachting and luxury lifestyle enthusiasts. The campaign garnered 10.2 million impressions from paid media and PR efforts resulted in in over 1.7 trillion earned media views with a total ad value of $3.3 million.

See the work and learn more about Aqua’s successful partnership with Visit Lauderdale here.

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