Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, D.C., announced its new advertising agency of record, MMGY Global. MMGY is a marketing communications agency headquartered in Kansas City, MO, with an office in the D.C. area.

According to a release: “Following the eighth consecutive year of record-breaking visitation to the nation’s capital, which resulted in 22.8 million visitors in 2017, DDC will work with MMGY to leverage a budget of $4.1 million to strategically drive seasonal travel in target markets including the Philadelphia, New YorkChicagoLos Angeles and Richmond DMAs. Campaigns include the upcoming holiday season (Oct. 1-Dec. 31), a regional push celebrating romance in the District (Dec. 1-Feb. 28, 2019), spring (Jan. 1-March 15, 2019) and summer (March 1- Sept. 3, 2019).

“”We are thrilled to work with MMGY Global to re-imagine our approach to advertising,” said Robin A. McClain, senior vice president, DDC. “Their team has displayed innovative ideas and impressive strategic thinking in their approach. We’re eager to see how we can use new research and MMGY’s expertise to be nimble in our marketing and speak directly to the interests of potential visitors.”

“DDC’s in-house creative team continues to design all advertising assets that will be utilized throughout digital, print, television and out-of-home placements, complemented by paid social media and search. The organization recently unveiled a new advertising campaign called “Discover the Real DC” under its five-year-old “DC Cool” brand (see a preview above). The new assets will be used to promote spring beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

“”Washington, DC is one of the world’s most special and dynamic destinations. A city that offers unmatched vacation and meeting experiences, rooted in a global community that truly offers so much to travelers. We feel very fortunate to partner with the Destination DC team and are extremely excited about the story we are telling together,” said Katie Briscoe, executive vice president, client services, MMGY Global.

“To inform the creative and tagline of “Discover the Real DC,” DDC worked with Destination Analysts on custom research in its target domestic markets. Eight personas of the visitors likely to visit DC emerged from live interviews and surveys of thousands of consumers.

“The personas include: the Eclectic Cultural Traveler, specifically interested in the arts; Family Travelers looking for family education and fun; the Cool Crowd, prioritizing trendy destinations with social media buzz; African-American History Buffs, attracted to destinations with a strong African-American historical significance; LGBTQ, travelers identifying as LGBTQ and for whom a LGBTQ-friendly urban destination is key; Foodies, who seek a notable restaurant scene and celebrity chefs; Political Junkies, attracted to destinations with political significance and want to experience where history is made; and Sports Fanatics, intrigued by world-class sports when identifying potential destinations.

“DDC previously worked with MMGY Global as the developer to relaunch washington.org, its official visitor website, in spring 2016. The design utilizes a neighborhood focus, robust calendar of events, meeting and convention tools, mobile mapping capabilities and more. This summer, DDC invested in directing users to specific content by launching geo-targeted personalization campaigns in four major markets: New YorkPhiladelphiaChicago and Los Angeles. The goal is to connect users with customized information that reflected an understanding of the audience, as well as share relatable experiences from their own cities that they could enjoy in DC. Pageviews have increased more than 300% when applying personalization tactics including seasonal content embedded campaigns, homepage embedded campaigns and sitewide pop-ups.

“New attractions, exhibits and hotel inventory continue to draw visitors. There are 20 hotels in the pipeline adding 4,500+ rooms to the city, including several new brands. Eaton Workshop is now open, and the Moxy Washington, DC Downtown opens later this year. The National Law Enforcement Museum opens Oct. 13. In 2019, citywide programming will surround the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The International Spy Museum reopens at L’Enfant Plaza, and the Washington Monument reopens, both next spring. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s “Fossil Hall” reopens in June. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ expansion (The REACH) opens Sept. 7, 2019.”

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