That One Time We Tried to Win A Tourism Account

That One Time We Tried To Win A Tourism Account

author: Dan Augustine

Written by: Dan Augustine

Creative Director


  • Creative

Editor’s Note: A for effort! But not much else. That’s what this is all about. These are Tales From The Creative Graveyard—real stories about great creative work that for one reason or another simply never made it to the finish line despite giving it our all. And sadly, when it was over, the work got put in a hole and buried…thing is though, great creative never dies.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land
the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere,
and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing,
and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville…
— Ernest Thayer, June 3, 1888


There’s no real story here. Best get that out of the way upfront. This one lacks the calamity of our bowling pitch, and it is devoid of the self-deprecating humor of our refrigerator pitch. This one is just a straight-up, hard-boiled bruiser of a loss. But hey, you’re still reading, so here goes! It’s a genuine Tale From The Creative Graveyard: it’s beautiful work for a failed pitch that never saw the light of day. And this one most certainly deserves its time in the sun. This is our pitch to Destination Door County, the organization responsible for polishing and maintaining the most dazzling stone in the Wisconsin Tourism crown. We wanted this one bad. We didn’t get it. It hurt.

In April 2022, EPIC Creative was invited to pitch Door County with a comprehensive tourism campaign aimed at elevating their efforts in conservation, as well as preserving and promoting the peace and tranquility the peninsula brings to visitors. We knew we wouldn’t win this one on case studies; if we were going to win, we’d need to build the entire campaign, press-ready-prime-time-go-live-now right outta the gate. Prove our mettle. This is where we shine.

We started at the core, defining the soul of Door County.

What is the soul of Door County? It is inherently one of wellness. Of tranquility. The soul of Door County is the cumulative and collected exhales of the millions of visitors who have traveled there over decades and across generations. It is a sigh of relief. A sigh of contentment after a good meal, an incredible hike, a moment alone with your thoughts, or moments spent in the company of friends, family, or your partner. It is peace of mind found on a rocky shore. On every plate. On every canvas and every trail. It’s in the air. The soul of Door County is calm.

Our campaign wasn’t about bachelor parties or intense getaway weekends, or loud, ruckus nights up north. Our campaign was about calm. And not just any calm … Door County Calm.

A Door County Calm is pleasantly free. It’s tranquil, it’s soothing. It’s peace of mind and body and spirit. A Door County Calm is the way your shoulders relax, it is the exhale when you hit the county line. A Door County Calm is knowing everything else can wait. A Door County Calm doesn’t mean Door County quiet. It’s just as much an elevated heartbeat in a half marathon, the intensity of a Highway EE bike ride, or the rush you experience fighting a salmon. A Door County Calm is a state of being.

We distilled this sentiment into a succinct positioning statement:

Destination Door County is dedicated to sharing—and preserving—the tranquility and natural beauty of this up-north paradise.

We paired it with a media strategy that found beauty in its simplicity: Target the right kind of visitor (eco-conscious and respectful), encourage them to visit the right parts of Door County (less-stressed, less-crowded areas in the far north/south), and reach them at the right time (in advance of the shoulder and off-seasons).

The creative speaks for itself.

Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Badge
Wedding Image Credit: Victoria Wuollett (
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Promo
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Billboard
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Transit
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Transit
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Social
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Influencers
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Calm App
Destination Door County Pitch Creative - Pledge

A thick skin is the price of admission in advertising. They say you lose three out of every four pitches. And in the end, we lost this one.

But you can’t say it was the pitch.

It was just a hard swing.

And a miss.

…mighty Casey has struck out.
Work Hard and Be Nice to People


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
close video player