Billings-based Kampgrounds of America has rolled out the first national television campaign in its 52-year history, hoping to capitalize on a rebound in the popularity of recreational vehicles.
KOA’s TV spot introduces the slogan, “What’s behind the Yellow Sign?” to familiarize viewers with KOA’s bright, yellow logo, which is adorned with a red and black tepee. Market research shows that 95 percent of respondents recognized the logo, although some didn’t know that KOA stands for Kampgrounds of America, according to a New York Times story.
Last year, KOA began the process of marketing its properties as either Journey, campgrounds that are convenient stops for one-night stays for campers on their way somewhere; Holiday, which are destination-oriented; and Resort, which have upscale features like saunas and hot tubs, restaurants, and group meeting spaces for gatherings like family reunions.
KOA’s TV push comes at a time when sales of recreational vehicles have recovered to pre-recession levels. In 2006, 390,500 RVs were sold, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. Sales tumbled to 165,000 units in 2009, but rebounded to 321,000 units last year.
Although RV owners are KOA’s bread and butter, the company is also busy developing deluxe cabins in many of its campgrounds.
KOA’s TV campaign will appear on the Great American Country Network in the United States and on Country Music Television in Canada. Market research shows that KOA’s customers are 27 percent more likely to listen to county music, according to the Times.
KOA started in Billings in 1962. Today there are 485 locations in North America, with franchisees owning all but 28, which are company-owned. Oscar L. Tang, a New York philanthropist and financier, owns KOA.