Capturing resort magic with Facebook MobileWorks video ads

Kalahari Resort’s water and theme parks are vacation destinations and America’s largest water parks. With 4 locations across the US—Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Sandusky, Ohio; Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania; and Round Rock, Texas—the full-service resorts offer vacationers an indoor waterpark, outdoor waterpark, arcade, bowling alleys, go-karts, indoor golf, a rock climbing wall, restaurants and a luxury spa.

Kalahari Resorts, A Facebook Ad Case Study

The travel resort developed strong video creative through the Facebook MobileWorks program, and simplified its multi-phase ad campaign with automatic placements and broad audience targeting, resulting in a 60X return on ad spend.


Booking stays

The Africa-themed waterpark and resort wanted travelers to book as many room nights at the highest rate as possible.

booking app array

Setting things in motion

Kalahari Resorts worked with Facebook Marketing Partners to bring vacationers from awareness of the advertised property all the way through to bookings. The team created mobile videos and showed them to a broad audience to educate potential guests about resort offerings. Next, the team showed ads in carousel format to people who had watched its video or visited the Kalahari website, continually reminding them of its message that Kalahari is where to go to create lasting family memories. Finally, the team created ads for people who had shown significant interest in a stay at the resort but had not booked one yet.

Value optimization and automatic placements
Kalahari selected automatic placements and value optimization for all parts of the campaign. With automatic placements, Facebook selects the platform, such as Facebook or Instagram, where the ads will run based on which platforms are performing best. Selecting value optimization helped the campaign have a higher return on ad spend because Facebook emphasizes showing the ads to people who will make a higher-value purchase.


Making mobile work

Creating video ads by following best practices for mobile improves ad performance and ensures a better viewing experience. Yet advertisers and agencies often lack the resources, inspiration or experience to invest in effective mobile-first creative. To develop the video ads for Kalahari’s campaign, Genero and Kalahari participated in a special program with Facebook called MobileWorks.

MobileWorks is a global program funded by Facebook to help businesses expand their Stories and mobile-first ad creative to improve campaign performance. The program pairs advertisers and agencies who need help with mobile creative with experts in mobile-first video production. The program emphasizes mobile-first creative with a focus on short duration (under 16 seconds) and multiple aspect ratios ( the relationship between the video width and height). Kalahari’s fast-paced mobile ads used an aspect ratio of 4:5, and ran 15 seconds, with the brand appearing immediately, in the first second.


Ready to play

After its success with running a multi-phased mobile ad campaign for one of its properties from September 3, 2018–February 2, 2019, Kalahari has scaled this approach across all its properties and is shifting more of its marketing budget to Facebook. Results of the campaign include:

  • 60X return on ad spend overall
  • 3.5X lower cost per purchase
Kalahari Resorts, A Facebook Ad Case Study
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“There are many digital touch-points before someone books a trip. With a campaign to help people keep Kalahari Resorts top of mind at every stage of the booker journey, Kalahari drastically improved return on ad spend. Not everything we did worked, so we had to pause and pivot our efforts. Trying new things and continually adjusting is the key.”

Kassie Rizzo – Digital Media Director 

Kalahari Resorts

Products Used

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The following success story is not associated with GMS. This case study is used purely for demonstrative purposes.

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