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 thing down pat. Then the producers threw us a curve ball. After 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 the nearby town of Chelan, which is quicker to get to and thus, far more popular with the tourists. We needed to give people a reason to travel a little farther 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 concept that there is “More to Manson.” More for adventure seekers and epicureans. More for 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 that captured this duality and devised an all-out media blitz, which included billboards, bus wraps, print ads, even a 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 that introduces people to Manson’s natural beauty…and multiple wineries. But the best part had to be creating our own currency: Manson Money. Distributed throughout neighboring towns and key feeder cities, these bucks can only be redeemed in one place–that’s right, Manson. It’s a fun guerilla campaign designed to get people talking about and taking their vacations in this wonderful little town.