VISIT Milwaukee announced April 12 that it has created a new ad campaign that positions Milwaukee as a bold, modern, experience-obsessed destination ready to safely host meetings and events.
Launched this month and developed in close collaboration with the Wisconsin Center District, the dynamic campaign targets meeting and event planners across the country, with a focus on the key markets of Chicago, Washington DC and Denver.
A secondary post focuses on industry segments that have proven successful for Milwaukee as a host destination. The campaign’s goal is to support long-term convention bookings for 2022 and beyond, and maximize event attendance for 2021.
“The look of this campaign positions Milwaukee as an innovative destination that can deliver a world-class shopping experience for attendees,” said Megan Suardini, Director of Marketing, VISIT Milwaukee. “We know this campaign highlights Milwaukee’s strengths and we believe it will help generate business to put our hotel community in a strong position as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.”
The campaign’s creative direction, led by award-winning Milwaukee-based agency Hanson Dodge, portrays Milwaukee as a community with top-notch infrastructure and amenities. The campaign builds on the “Unique Unites” concept, an idea that was originally introduced last year in a short promotional video. Like Unique Unites, the new multimedia campaign brings the vision to life with side-by-side visuals that balance meeting-centric experiences while showcasing the city’s lifestyle.
“Milwaukee is where ‘the one comes together’ for everything and everyone,” said Mitch Markussen, Chief Creative Officer of Hanson Dodge. “Successful meetings have a spirit — a spirit that draws inspiration from the place around it. From visionary cuisine and breweries to miles of trails and a large lake, this campaign celebrates the spirit that is unique to Milwaukee.
Media buying for the campaign combines highly targeted digital and programmatic advertising, utilizes trade publications, targeted emails and sponsorship activations at trade shows the VISIT Milwaukee sales team will be attending. The campaign is continuously monitored and optimized for the best performing ad units, and the focus is on generating leads and bookings to the Wisconsin Center and hospitality community.
The advertisements also target niche market segments such as regional associations, religious, sports, miscellaneous, agricultural, leisure and professional groups. Secondary audiences are customers and potential customers who will now be able to book their events in Milwaukee once the Wisconsin Center expansion is complete in 2024.
“Now that Wisconsin Center’s long-awaited expansion is fully activated, it was important to seize the opportunity to rethink the purpose and strength of the meetings and conventions campaign,” said Sarah Maio, vice president of the marketing and communications for Wisconsin. Center district. “Not only did we have a responsibility to generate excitement and awareness among meeting and event planners, but also to take a longer view of the creative assets we now have. It’s an opportunity to dive deeper into one-to-one messaging across our variety of audiences and end users.
From local pride to international conventions, the campaign was designed to reflect Wisconsin Center’s commitment to delivering bold quality experiences. The 2021 campaign has an added ancillary element that reassures guests hosting events in Milwaukee this year that the city is taking the pandemic seriously and has rigorous health and safety protocols in place. The new safety video, Meet Confidently in Milwaukee, will be promoted as part of this campaign.