That One Time We Tried To Win A Tourism Account
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.
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.
We distilled this sentiment into a succinct positioning statement:
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.
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.