Some DMOs don’t want to let April Fool’s Day come and go without having some fun. But there’s a serious side to these real-deal spring campaigns (well, with the exception of Visit Winona) that are getting plenty of media attention. Would you steal this idea?
“Yup. You read that right, folks.
Winona, Minnesota, is proud to be the home of the nation’s only live flamingo ride attraction*, with a flock of specially bred cold-weather flamingos ready to give your little ones a thrill.
Minnesota Gators, our swim with alligators experience, has been a huge hit, so we decided to really channel our Miami vibe** and open Fly With Flamingos. Trust us, your kids are going to love it, and you’ll be making memories for a lifetime. Spots are filling up fast – get yours today.
*At least we think so
**Winona is the Miami of Minnesota – it is the warmest place in the state and located in Minnesota exactly where Miami is in Florida. Plus, we have miles of beaches too. Also, we heard that flamingos haven’t bred in Florida for 100 years and don’t live in Miami. But we think that’s just a dirty rumor and so we’re still going with it. Anyway, your kids are going to love it.“
This is just a peek into the cheekiness that is Visit Winona when April Fool’s Day rolls around. Check it out here. Marketing Specialist Cynthya Porter tells The Travel Vertical, “Swimming with gators is hard to top, but we gave it a try for this year’s go at April Fool’s Day. We did boost it to a Midwest audience and have spent about $350 so far. With that and its viral appeal, this post has reached just shy of 100,000 people and has about 9,300 engagements as of Monday morning.”
Related: DMOs Think Different: California Spells Out ‘What If’ and Winona, MN Spoofs ‘Swim With Alligators’
Consider Your Succulent Part of the Fam?
“The World’s First Plant-Friendly Hotel” is in Lexington, Kentucky. Working with VisitLEX, Elwood Hotel & Suites was down for the fun of taking ecotourism to the next level at the city’s newest boutique property.
VisitLEX Vice President of Marketing Gathan Borden said, “Whether they fly in or drive in, the first thing people notice about Lexington is just how green it is.” After all, this is the Horse Capital of the World where 450 lush landscaped Thoroughbred farms are surrounded by 30,000 acres of protected farmland and bluegrass hills beyond.
Speaking of greenery, Cornett’s Executive Creative Director Whit Hiler told The Travel Vertical, “The internet seems to have decided that pets are the new babies, and plants have been promoted to the new pets. Maybe it’s all the extra time people are spending at home, but they just really love their potted pals. With that in mind, we worked with VisitLEX and a local boutique hotel to create the World’s First Plant-Friendly Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky. And that’s exactly what it is. Think pet-friendly but for plants and the plant parents that love them.”
Why not book The Gardener’s Premier Corner Room Package, king suites with an abundance of natural light and fun add-ons for traveling plants and their humans. Guests can order a Garden Mojito cocktail made with blackberry syrup, fresh herbs and edible flowers, too.
Of course, visitors to Lexington can bring Fido or Rover. But, folks will be clamoring to get the Plant-Friendly Guide to Lexington, home to the most famous grass in the world.
Poke fun at a Boston accent, but redefine it along the way. Who’s down for Phase II? All Inclusive Boston highlights the city’s diversity and marked the first time the DMO contracted with local Black-owned marketers and communications teams, Colette Phillips Communications, Inc. and Proverb, to drive a major tourism campaign.
What happened? Success happened: In its first phase, the program generated more than 57 million overall campaign impressions, registered 1.16 million video impressions, saw a 400% increase in web traffic, 1.1 million social media impressions, including 18,600 Instagram views. The city has awarded $1.495 for the next phase of All Inclusive Boston through the American Rescue Plan Act and its own operating budget.
Newly elected as the city’s first female and first Asian American leader, Mayor Michelle Wu just announced the next phase inthe messaging behind All Inclusive Boston, aimed at residents, promoting small businesses, and encouraging visitation. Seen here, the mayor is joined by President & CEO Martha Sheridan, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and others at the podium, to provide more details at a City Hall press conference launch.
Say Whatever You Want in NYC
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is wallpapering the Sunshine State with digital billboards stating its opposition to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida. NBC News reports that “massive digital billboards will be up for eight weeks in five major Florida markets, including Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach” with an expected 5 million impressions through May 29. Creative content was donated by major ad agencies including WPP Companies, WMLY&R, BCW, H+K Strategies and Kinetic.
Not Everybody Has Five Boroughs But Everybody’s Got Cool Neighborhoods
New York City has launched “Get Local NYC.” “We’re confident that the ‘Get Local NYC’ campaign will encourage deeper exploration throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods, supporting small businesses and spotlighting authentic communities, as New York City emerges from the pandemic,” said NYC & Company President & CEO Fred Dixon. The campaign is supported by Mayor Eric Adams who said, “This campaign will highlight so many of the incredibly special small and minority-owned businesses in all five boroughs. While New Yorkers know where to find the best bagel or slice of pizza, see the best street art or artists, tourists are not so lucky.”
And there’s more from the creative team. Think themes and events as well as locations. In addition to the five borough shoutout, NYC & Company has action taglines (who else loves the way they turned nouns into verbs?), starting with these:
- Chinatown Like a New Yorker
- Museum Like a New Yorker
- San Gennaro Like a New Yorker
- Dance Till Dawn Like a New Yorker
- Art Gallery Like a New Yorker
- plus the overarching: New York City Like a New Yorker
Brooklyn kicks it off with a landing page of video and better known landmarks but digs in deeper with UGC contributed under-the-radar restaurants, small businesses, Black-owned businesses, Latino culture, hidden gems, interviews, and local happenings, plus some easy-to-follow mapped out itineraries.
“Get Local NYC” ads will appear digitally in regional and national markets, including Boston, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. Locally, the campaign is supported by OOH distribution such as Taxi TV. Borough-specific guides with photo galleries, videos, itineraries, events, and venues will be on the NYC & Company website.