August 30, 2017 / Awards
Explore Minnesota and Colle McVoy won a prestigious Mercury Award for Best Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign for its successful #OnlyinMN campaign. The award, presented by the U.S. Travel Association, recognizes the best 2016 spring/summer campaign among state tourism offices across the country with similar marketing budgets.
“It’s a great honor to have the #OnlyinMN campaign recognized as one of the best in the country. This innovative and robust campaign has been gaining momentum each year, and I take great pride in knowing it has inspired millions of people to visit Minnesota and experience all our state has to offer.”
Explore Minnesota director
The #OnlyinMN campaign debuted in April 2014 as a way to showcase the unique and authentic experiences that Minnesota has to offer. Before that time, only 18 percent of Midwesterners described a Minnesota vacation as “very appealing.” Fast forward two years, and the evolved 2016 spring/summer campaign generated incremental visitation of 3.5 million people, $388.8 million in incremental traveler spending, and a record 9-to-1 return on investment (Longwoods International).
The Mercury Award-winning campaign featured three new TV spots; Instagram-inspired MNstagram Booths that traveled to Kansas City, Denver, Chicago and the Minnesota State Fair; a golf marketing campaign in Dallas, and more. The $3.5 million campaign's success can be attributed to a variety of factors, including expanded market reach, a strategic mix of traditional and digital marketing mediums, and cutting-edge creative strategy.
About NCSTD Mercury Awards
The Mercury Awards recognize members for excellence and creative accomplishment in state destination marketing and promotion; and inspire, through showcasing outstanding work, the continued development of imaginative and exciting marketing and promotional programs.
About Explore Minnesota
As the state's tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota with tourism businesses and organizations. See what’s happening right now, only in Minnesota, at exploreminnesota.com and join the movement via @exploreminn on Twitter and Pinterest, or @exploreminnesota on Instagram and Facebook, using #OnlyinMN.