Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Wins Prestigious Cannes Gold Lion Award for “Kid Reviewed” Campaign

Monday, August 02, 2021 | 08:29am

NASHVILLE – July 30, 2021 – In the Spring of 2019, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development conducted a scientific experiment to prove just how much fun children have on a Tennessee vacation. Using an innovative wearable device called a Laugh Tracker, which used voice-recognition and location-based tracking technology, Tennessee Tourism created a special vacation planning website as part of its “Kid Reviewed” campaign showing locations that generated the greatest joy for the state’s youngest visitors. In June, this innovative campaign was recognized with a prestigious Gold Lion in the Creative Data—Data-Enhanced Creativity category at the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity 2021, which was held virtually from Cannes, France June 21-25, 2021.

The Laugh Tracker marks the fourth time in six years the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, in partnership with its advertising agency of record, VMLY&R, won at the prestigious international competition.

The Department’s “Colorblind Viewfinder” earned three Silver Lion Awards in 2018, the “Tennessee Vacation MatchMaker” digital advertising campaign earned a Silver Lion in the Creative Data category and a Bronze Lion in the category of Digital Craft in 2016, and the 2015 campaign, “One Minute Vacation,” earned a Bronze Lion in the cooperative marketing campaign. Cannes is the world’s largest annual awards show and festival for the creative communications industry.  

Over the course of a three-week campaign, more than 200 children were outfitted with the voice-activated Laugh Tracker devices, connected with Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices carried by the children’s parents or guardians. Voice recordings were then uploaded to a cloud-based “laugh detection” service, paired detected laughs with the Laugh Tracker wearer’s location and heart rate data.

To aid parents in planning their Tennessee vacations, the laughter data and candid reviews from the kids themselves were posted to a special website www.kidreviewedtn.com, which included a heat map depicting the number and intensity of laughs recorded at popular family destinations across Tennessee, enabling prospective visitors to see which attractions generated the most laughs and the greatest excitement.

The Laugh Tracker devices gathered more than 450 hours of data, representing two million data points, including 1.67 million seconds of laughter—an average of 80 laughs per hour per child.

Post-campaign research conducted by Adara showed the campaign generated an incremental 157,733 hotel room bookings in Tennessee, and $42.2 million in revenue—an impressive $142-to-1 return on investment.


Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music, that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”   Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.

TNvacation.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Press Website

Media Contacts:

Amanda Murphy

Jill Kilgore

Mary Katelyn Price