Best Article

Inspired by ‘Snowfall,’ Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau wows readers with foliage

Multimedia approach to the science behind fall colors breaks new ground.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND FALL COLOR:  Destination immersion through digital storytelling- Logo

The New York Times raised eyebrows and generated considerable buzz with its multimedia report “Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” That piece took a year to produce, but inspired by its approach, the Asheville (North Carolina) Convention & Visitors Bureau produced its own immersive multimedia article on a less dramatic but visually stunning theme: the breathtaking foliage that attracts tourists to the area for a brief period every fall. 

“The Science Behind Fall Color” brilliantly and beautifully adapted the principles of The New York Times’ article with its use of HTML5 to integrate animated images, in-line video, a flyover map, slide shows, audio, and (at its core) exceptional narrative. 

This well-conceived and wonderfully executed article was the clear winner in the Best Article category of Ragan’s 2014 Content Marketing Awards. It not only presented an exceptional work product, it also produced impressive results, attracting 40,000 unique page views over one month and directly affecting occupancy at a local hotel. The multimedia nature of the story also generated media coverage. At the bottom of the article, four graphics invited readers to plan fall excursions, book a hotel room, and more; these links saw 50 percent traffic growth over the previous year, indicating that the article also succeeded in its calls to action. 

We offer our deepest congratulations for this innovative effort to Maria Tambellini, Dodie Stephens, Derek Misler, Cat Kessler, and Del Houston.

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