Bringing the bay
area south


  • Research & Strategy
  • Creative Development
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • Video Production
  • Photography
  • Content Development

It takes a village to promote a village

Tourism is a vital force in California’s economy, with a variety of destinations within the state vying for visitors’ attention and tourism spending. Visit Carmel, the destination-marketing organization for Carmel-by-the-Sea, wanted to increase awareness of the coastal village to a traveler audience in the greater Bay Area. The Abbi Agency was tasked with developing and amplifying key messages that would spark interest and drive visitation from this audience.

The Big Integrated Idea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a destination that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. While many destinations utilize wide, landscape imagery to set the tone of their social pages, such a tactic would not do Carmel justice. The town cannot be experienced in that manner. Carmel happens on a smaller and more intimate scale. Carmel is a curious stroll. A peek around a corner. A surprise within a surprise. A charmed, timeless village best experienced without an agenda or a wristwatch. Our team set out to capture this ambling, personal aspect of Carmel, the whimsy, the warmth, the textures, the passageways, and yes, the revelation of a postcard-ready beach.

To entice our Bay Area audience to visit this magical wonder place, The Abbi Agency focused on nine key messaging topics: Art, Mindfulness, Fitness, Inns, Carmel Beach, Architecture, Dog-Friendliness, Romance, and Culinary Adventure. The agency implemented an SEO-driven PR strategy with the aim of receiving media placements in Bay Area publications with backlinks to CarmelCalifornia.com for direct booking.

A series of playful POV videos showcasing walks through the town’s passageways were produced and released across social media. Additionally, we crafted a photo + hashtag campaign entitled #DistinctlyCarmel which showcased the individual messaging topics mentioned above through new, high-quality imagery.


The numbers are charming

Throughout the 2018/19 fiscal year, Carmel-by-the-Sea’s Bay Area following grew 22.3 percent. San Francisco/San Jose made it to the top five cities of Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, the Secret Passageway videos were among the top-performing posts, with the Secret Garden video earning 3,851 reactions and a 9.1 percent engagement rate, making it the top all-time post on Visit Carmel’s Facebook page. The agency secured 21 digital earned media placements in the Bay Area with key message pull through and links back to CarmelCalifornia.com.