After helping the Travel Channel’s hit show Hotel Impossible rebrand the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach and launch a new brand for Hearthstone hospitality group in Nova Scotia, we thought we had this reality thingÂ down pat. Then the producers threw us a curve ball. AfterÂ host Anthony Melchiorri visited the Mountain View Lodge in Manson, Washington, he realized that it wasn’t the property that could use our help. It was the town itself. Were we up to the challenge? You bet.
Manson is located on the shores of Washington’s Lake Chelan. A great location because of its beauty and access to the lake; a tough location because it competes with theÂ nearby town of Chelan, which is quicker to get to and thus, far more popular with the tourists.Â We needed to give people a reason to travel a little fartherÂ down the road and discover this hidden gem.
Inspired by the experiences that our own Kim Capps and Mark Freid had during their stay in Manson, we developed an advertising campaign around the conceptÂ that there is “More to Manson.” MoreÂ for adventure seekers and epicureans. More forÂ nature lovers and culture buffs. More for different types of travelers and tastes. (And maybe even more than you might find in Chelan, though we didn’t say that overtly).
We designed a new website, collateral and ads thatÂ captured this dualityÂ andÂ devised an all-out mediaÂ blitz, which included billboards, bus wraps, print ads, even aÂ radio spot that we wrote, recorded and cut in about 24 hours (thanks for the help, Push Button Productions)!
With the advertising campaign raising awareness, we also wanted to create new ways for people to experience the town. We recommended a series of events, such as Cycling-to-Syrah, a bicycle ride thatÂ introducesÂ peopleÂ to Manson’sÂ natural beauty…and multiple wineries. But the best part had to beÂ creating our own currency:Â Manson Money. Distributed throughout neighboring towns and key feeder cities, theseÂ bucks can only be redeemed in one placeâthat’s right, Manson. It’s a fun guerilla campaign designed to get people talking about and taking their vacations in this wonderful little town.