Visit California Honors the Travel Industry’s Best Marketing Programs at the 2016 Poppy Awards

Published on : Thursday, February 25, 2016

visit californiaTonight, Visit California honored tourism destinations and attractions across California for excellence in tourism marketing at the Poppy Awards and Industry Recognition Gala in San Francisco. Categories included outstanding overall marketing campaigns, best digital campaigns and public relations programs.



“The outstanding marketing programs that were celebrated tonight are a big part of the reason that California is the premier tourism destination in the U.S.,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “The tourism industry stimulates over $121 billion in visitor spending in California every year, and generates over one million jobs in the state. The Poppy Awards celebrate California’s innovative, creative spirit and raise the bar for travel marketing statewide and beyond. Congratulations to the winners and finalists whose ingenuity and hard work inspire our industry and visitors worldwide.”

Beteta presented the 2016 Poppy Awards during the Visit California Outlook Forum, held February 22-24 in San Francisco, and attended by hundreds of tourism industry leaders and marketing professionals. Made by California artisan Nicholson Blown Glass in Auburn, Poppy Awards are given every two years to acknowledge the best of California’s tourism promotion. A panel of industry marketing experts selected the winners of the Poppy Awards in seven categories: Best Overall Marketing Program; Best Digital Campaign; Best Social Media Campaign; Best Content Marketing Campaign; Best Regional Collaborative Marketing Campaign; Commitment to Community; and Best Public Relations Campaign.

During the ceremony, Visit California also presented the California Dreamer Award, presented to individuals who truly embody the California spirit, to Greg Koch, Chairman and co-founder of Stone Brewing Co., the craft beer giant in San Diego.

“With such an impressive slate of past Poppy award winners, I’m incredibly honored and humbled to receive this year’s California Dreamer award,” said Stone CEO & co-founder Greg Koch. “I first discovered the classic California beer Anchor Steam for the very first time in the late 80s, and it was a true epiphany. Since that time, my passion for California’s craft beer community and the tourism surrounding our industry has only grown. I’m proud that we’re able to spread the reputation of California craft beer across the pond to Europe as we officially open Stone Brewing Berlin this spring. All of our accomplishments at Stone wouldn’t be possible without support from our fans and incredible team. Cheers to all the supporters of true California craft beer!”

“Mr. Koch’s innovation, passion, and business savvy has elevated the visibility of California’s craft beer industry around the world,” Beteta said. “With Stone’s new international expansion efforts in Germany, Mr. Koch is a reminder that you can accomplish anything when you dream big in California.”

This year’s 2016 California Poppy Award winners are:

Best Overall Marketing Program (less thank $500K)
Visit Oakland

Best Overall Marketing Program ($500K- $2M)

BCA + StudioGood- San Luis Obispo
Terranea Resort

Best Overall Market Program ($2M and up)
San Diego Tourism Authority
San Diego Zoo

Best Digital Campaign
Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Best Social Media Campaign
Visit Santa Barbara

Best Content Marketing Initiative
Visit Anaheim

Best Regional Collaborative Marketing Campaign
Greater Palm Springs CVB

Commitment to Community
Mental Marketing & TJA Advertising- Highway 1 Discovery Route

Best Public Relations Campaign (less than $20K)
Black Ink PR- Visit SLO County/Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast

Best Public Relations Campaign (more than $20K)
Visit Huntington Beach

Best Viral Campaign
Enterprise Rent-a-Car

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