Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs that inspire travel to California. Their job is to get people excited to visit the Golden State and support the state’s accommodations, attractions, rental cars, restaurants, retailers and transportation businesses.
The pandemic decimated California's tourism industry. However, it also created a pent-up demand for travel and record consumer savings. To spur recovery and appeal to consumers looking to book their next dream vacation, Visit California created "Am I Dreaming," a celebrity-studded campaign to launch on Super Bowl Sunday.
To complement the TV campaign and drive visitation to California partner websites, Visit California launched an all-new immersive digital experience. The "DREAM theater" showcases the varied scenery and destinations in the Golden State, from the beaches to the mountains and everything in-between.
As Visit California’s Digital Agency of Record, our mission is to inspire visitors to plan their next trip to the Golden State and what better time to add an all-new, immersive experience than to support their ground-breaking Super Bowl campaign, “Am I Dreaming”?
We partnered with Visit California to design and develop the new digital experience, providing an immersive concept, art direction and experience design, all in creation of The DREAM Theater. The inspiration to create DREAM Theater came from the conceit of the mass media campaign, which shows that while California’s larger-than-life experiences may seem the stuff of dreams, they are all real and available to visitors.
The DREAM Theater website greets users with an idyllic vista of California and entices them to explore a sideways-scrolling journey to discover California’s iconic attractions and thrilling adventures across the five key pillars of California tourism: Beaches, Culinary, Family Attractions, Outdoors, and, Arts and Culture. Within each category, users discover places to visit, can build itineraries and road trips, and uncover fun facts about California, with the ability to click on any area of interest to explore further into the deep, rich content of the multi-award winning Visit California experience. Users can easily access travel videos, free travel guides, Visit California’s newsletter, the California Now podcast and information on California Welcome Centers.
Design features of the new site include:
Interactive scroll-based navigation adds to the sense of unreality, echoing the dreamlike quality of the “Am I Dreaming?” commercial. The digital story holds users' attention, as stunning visuals come to life as they go, making them want to keep scrolling to the very end.
Use of White Space to Allow Users’ Imaginations to Run Wild
The intentional use of white space allows users’ own imaginations to fill in the blanks and leaves room for different interpretations. The negative space background holds together the visual elements and multiple layers of imagery making them stand out, while improving the user experience, usability and navigation.
The illusion of depth on the site immerses users further into the dream narrative, adding whimsy and delight. The subtle but constant motion design and interactivity keeps users' attention as they explore the page further and supports the scrollytelling element of the site.
Creating a more intuitive and authentic user experience, rotoscoping gives a lifelike feel to the animation throughout the dreamscape. The human-centered design experience creates meaningful, more natural interactions for users, reducing cognitive load.
With scrolling imagery of the state’s unique vistas as the backdrop, this rich, multimedia experience incorporates video, photography, podcasts and motion design that bring the dreamy destination to life.
On Super Bowl Sunday, organic traffic more than doubled, with the “Am I Dreaming” video earning over 58K views. For Visit California, it's all about building trust and delivering the best digital customer experience for users who are ready to travel again, and with an over 200% increase in engagement from the same period last year, users are in a ready-to-travel state-of-mind.
The "DREAM Theater" is inspiring visitors to visit the Golden State, and further, to spring for once-in-a-lifetime vacations that are rapidly accelerating recovery for the state's 19,000+ tourism businesses and the communities they support.
Dylan GerardCreative Director
David Langarica LorenzoSr. Associate, Global Managed Services (Develope
Anton MorrisonVP Design
Ken SoSenior Associate, Technology
Appnovation has been a Contributor since 25th November 2015.