Washington, DC tourism and hospitality partners  launched a multi-channel advertising tourism campaign to attract domestic leisure visitors to the nation’s capital.

“We want people to know that DC is open,” said Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. “It took many months of working together to get to where we are today, and now we are ready to welcome visitors back to the nation’s capital. Whether you come for the museums and monuments or our restaurants and nightlife, we are spreading the word that DC has something for everyone. People may know about Washington, but we want visitors to experience DC.”

“From March 2020 through April 2021 we lost $6.6 billion in visitor spending. Now after going without advertising our destination for sixteen months, the recovery campaign will help us welcome visitors back to DC and support our industry’s rebound,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital. “We’re grateful to Events DC for funding this year’s campaign and to Mayor Bowser for including a $5 million marketing allocation in her FY2022 budget.”

“Research shows that nearly 70 percent of typical travelers are open to travel inspiration and 74% are excited to travel for leisure right now, both at pandemic-level highs, so the time is right to share with consumers what makes DC special this summer and beyond,” said Robin McClain, senior vice president of marketing and communications, DDC.

According to a release:

  • January Third, a DC-based independent creative agency founded by a woman born and raised in the District, was unanimously selected from a pool of dozens of agencies across the country to provide creative services.
  • Local photographer Jared Soares shot the campaign images.
  • Assets use a font made by local artist Tré Seals, inspired by protest posters from the Civil Rights era.
  • The red tone represents the DC flag.
  • Commercial:
    • Music is by local band The Funk Ark and the legendary Go-Go band Experience Unlimited is featured.
    • The skaters featured are the Lace Em Up skaters led by Kenneth “Rollo” Davis and the X-Rated Skate Group.
    • Skaters are a local team led by Kenneth “Rollo” Davis and the X-Rated Skate Group
    • Voiceover artist is local poet Charity Blackwell
    • Dancer is local ballerina Nya Cunningham
  • All eight wards of the city are captured for the campaign at locations including the REACH at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Ward 2), Hi Lawn at Union Market (Ward 6), No Kisses Bar (Ward 1), Anacostia Roller Rink (Ward 8), among others.

Campaign rollout

  • Placements by DDC’s media buying agency of record, MMGY Global, include digital, print, advanced television (streaming and targeted video networks), streaming audio, programmatic (targeted ad networks) and out-of-home, complemented by paid social media, search and more.
  • Target markets will include the region (DC and surrounding suburbs); drive market (those within a 4-hour drive including New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond); and national (markets chosen based on data showing travel potential and intent)
  • A portion of the buy is specifically aimed at marginalized audiences including Black, Latinx and LGBTQ+ travelers. Both the creative and commercial will be translated to Spanish.
  • The campaign is funded by Events DC. The media buy is $2.5 million, which is separate from January Third’s contract of $400,000.
  • In early 2021, DDC relaunched washington.org. Digital ads all connect to the site, where potential visitors find trip inspiration based on their interests and things to do this summer. The campaign is also supported by social media, email marketing and earned editorial efforts.

View campaign commercials and digital and out of home assets.

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