Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WANTED: a Tourism Campaign that Works


(Just beyond the cheese curtain).

Travel Wisconsin’s “HAVE YOU SEEN” campaign is brilliant.

It’s deceptive (but in a good way)
Advertising where you least expect it. By attempting to mimic the form of a homemade ‘Wanted’ / ‘Lost Dog’ sign, TW immediately peaks audience curiosity and gains attention.

It’s cheap (relatively speaking)
Baring the mark of an entry-level Lexmark. In opting for low-res photo finishing quality on paper no sturdier than what you’d use at home, Travel Wisconsin captures (and capitalizes on) the grassroots effort motif perfectly.

Beyond raw materials, TW pays virtually nothing for placement! By trading looming billboards and boring bus skins for paper pin-ups, the only deployment cost Travel Wisconsin incurs is the hourly fee shelled out to the guy with the staple gun.

The pull-through is cool, too.
After grasping your attention on paper, the website that awaits those that answer the CTA is astounding!

Maybe it wasn’t a matter of choice. With this robust of a web build-out, maybe the ‘HAVE YOU SEEN’ campaign HAD to be low-budget!’s “Fall Color Report” is an interactive web designer’s dream! Daily updates on the status of fall foliage by county, complete with social media-enabled photo sharing functionality? Bravo.

If you can’t beat ‘em, follow ‘em.

My walk to work takes me up Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue.

I pass Grant Park and The Chicago Institute of Art, say “hello” to the faces of Crown Fountain and wave to Cloud Gate, (aka “the Bean”).

With each new block I pass dozens of tourists all smiling ear to ear as they snap and pose with our city.

It’s an inspired way to start your morning, so long as you can learn to hurdle over the slow walkers and lost meandering types.

But it’s a different story come fall.

Since Labor Day there has been a significant drop in tourism foot traffic on the streets of Chicago.
Kids are back in school and the days are drawing in.

As families shift their focus from full-fledged “vacation” to “weekend getaway,” Travel Wisconsin knows it’s time for B-string destination states to kick their promos into high gear.

WANTED: Chicago-made Money in Wisconsin

While the Windy City boasts architectural marvels, world-renown shopping and all the hustle and bustle that goes with city life, Wisconsin knows it can be fatiguing. What Chicagoans need most is a break from it all; the chance to get lost in the splendor of autumn.

Perfect timing, creative execution, and flawless follow-through, Travel Wisconsin; nicely done!

We’ll be venturing up 94 soon. :)


  1. FOUND: A connoisseur of fall colors and creative campaigns. Now that you've seen the ads, it's time for you to experience the real thing. You can plan your trip at

    1. Guilty as charged! Thanks for reading - saw my first "Breaking News" spot just last night. Keep up the stellar work - I've got my eye on a few counties. Will try to head north before the foliage is past prime. ;)