Wyoming Office of Tourism Takes Home Mercury Award at ESTO

September 7, 2017—Cheyenne, Wyoming—The Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) was recently awarded a Mercury Award from the National Council of State Tourism Directors during the U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Mercury Awards are given to members for both excellence and creative accomplishment in state destination marketing. Wyoming’s recent print advertising campaign took home the top honor in the printed collateral materials copy.

“The challenge for Wyoming is to capture our incredible landscapes and natural wonders in a way that’s relatable and inspiring to the traveler,” said Diane Shober, executive director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. “Through our print advertising and this campaign, we’re able to marry our rugged landscapes with beautifully written copy that captures Wyoming’s epic intimacy and in turn, invite our prospective travelers to feel something.”

The printed collateral materials were placed in numerous publications, including National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic, Sunset, Backpacker, Bicycling, Smithsonian, Cowboys & Indians, National Parks and True West. In addition, an ad effectiveness study about Wyoming’s “That’s WY” campaign outperformed past efforts, including the highest ROI on record for the Wyoming Office of Tourism which showed that for every one dollar invested in advertising, the return to Wyoming in visitor spending was $275, which outperformed industry averages of $129, per SMARI.

“The beautiful thing about these ads is that the imagery spoke volumes and allowed our copy to be minimal, but impactful,” said Kristin Phipps, brand integration senior manager. “Most importantly, these ads helped us achieve our goals of increasing travel to and building awareness about the state as a travel destination.” 

According to the judges, WOT’s printed materials were selected for the following reasons, “This campaign is perfectly minimal. Minimalism is very bold and risky, but Wyoming pulls it off.” Additional details can be found here. While Wyoming often highlights its national icons—including Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument—this campaign’s creative was designed to introduce visitors to the lesser-known aspects of Wyoming and in turn encourage travelers to explore more undiscovered destinations.

“With our “That’s WY” campaign, we invite consumers to meet Wyoming and to the ask themselves why they should visit Wyoming,” said Shober. “And through it all, we’re helping them feel the power of Wyoming. When we can invite consumers to feel the power of a place through our advertising, we’re doing our job.”  

The winning campaign samples from the Wyoming Office of Tourism can be found here