WORD travels quickly by mouth, and the best way to advertise and entice people to come and experience the CNMI as an island resort is to hear it direct from those who have been here.
From January to December last year, the CNMI through the initiatives of the Marianas Visitors Authority hogged the limelight in several media outlets including newspapers, magazines, and Television shows, resulting in an advertising exposure worth $80 million and more for the year.
TV hosts, writers, photographers all the way from Korea, Japan, Russia and other places had a feast packing as much coverage as they could and dipping into the total island experience from a few days to over a week. The media visitors experienced the island culture, culinary delights, underwater wonders, visited historical sites and everything that the CNMI has to offer.
A look back
In January last year, Happie Nuts Magazine, a popular female fashion magazine held a location shoot and a night club event at the GIG Discotheque. MVA assisted the familiarization, or FAM, tour which was expected to bring over $141,000 in ad exposure value to the CNMI.
In February, showing the movie “Oba: the Last Samurai” which chronicling the story of Sakae Oba, the last member of the Japanese Imperial Army to surrender to U.S. forces more than a year after the Battle of the Marianas ended was expected to receive over $22 million in media exposure.
The CNMI got another $100,000 ad exposure value after it was given full-page feature by The Japan Times in their March 20, 2011 issue, and a four-page article in a luxury magazine published by custom media for their spring edition.
In April 2011, seven daily newspapers from South Korea —Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Kukmin Ilbo, Kyunghyang Shinmum, Naeil Shinmum, Money Today, and The Sports Chosun sent editorial teams on Saipan to introduce this island resort destination to their 11-million readers. The ad exposure value of the FAM tour coverage was estimated at $200,000.
In May last year, the CNMI received over $6 million in ad exposure arising from FAM tours of different media outlets including a crew from the television travel documentary series Globe Trekker (formerly Lonely Planet), the world’s most watched TV travel show since 1998 arrived on Saipan and worked on a 5-10 minute segment on Saipan and Tinian, a crew of the Korean sitcom “All my Love” to tape episodes of the show on Managaha, San Antonio Beach, Bird Island, and Banzai Cliff for 90 minutes of air time at an estimated ad value of over $4.2 million, and the monthly travel magazine Travie for a 12-page feature in the islands focusing on the culinary culture and local events.
The 3rd Saipan International Open Water Flipper Race Tournament on Managaha in June last year also attracted Jiji.com, one of Japan’s leading news wire agencies which was expected to give the CNMI an estimated ad value exposure of $28,000.
Popular Russian TV host Michael Shirvindt featured the CNMI and its uniqueness in his highly rated show “Hochu Znat” which airs to 250 million viewers in Russian, former Soviet republics, Asia, Australia and the U.S. was expected to bring an estimated $45 million in publicity.
Writers and photographers from Chunichi Shimbun, Gifu Shimbun, lifestyle magazines, CHEEK and SPY GIRL, and Golf Masters participated in a 3-day whirlwind tour of the island in August last year, contributing to provide a total media exposure estimated at almost $400,000.
Far East Russia TV who visited the CNMI in November last year produced an air segment that will be aired over the next six months and brought the island $250,000 worth of advertising exposure.
Last month, Global Travel News, Korea Travel News, Korea Travel Times, and Travel & Leisure — all travel trade newspapers targeting travel agents, while AM7 is a free morning tabloid distributed at Korea’s subways to the general public visited the islands and enjoyed the beauty of the island.
The FAM tour is expected to give the CNMI $30,000 worth of advertising coverage.
Also last month, Korea’s MBC TV’S “Live Today Busan” visited for a location shoot that was expected to bring over $1 million of international exposure value.
All these familiarization tours and exposure are expected to lure more tourists to come and taste the CNMI experience.