Godwin-Produced Mississippi Runs Deep Wins National Tourism Award

U.S. Travel Association names Visit Mississippi campaign as among nation’s best

JACKSON, Miss. (Sept. 12, 2019)

A Visit Mississippi tourism campaign produced by Godwin has been honored by the U.S. Travel Association as one of the best in the country. Visit Mississippi was named recipient of a Mercury Award, which recognizes excellence and creative accomplishment in state and territory destination marketing and promotion.

Mercury Award given at the Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO)The Mercury Award, recognizing excellence and creative accomplishment in state destination marketing and promotion, presented to Visit Mississippi at the Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference held in Austin, Texas.

The award was presented during the travel association’s annual Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference held in Austin, Texas. Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray and other Mississippi tourism professionals were on hand for the presentation.

“Mississippi Runs Deep,” a marketing campaign implemented during the state’s bicentennial year under the auspices of the Mississippi Department of Archives & History and the Bicentennial Committee, was entered in the special projects campaign category.

“Mississippi’s bicentennial was a unique opportunity to share Mississippi’s story like we never have before,” said Ray. “It is such an honor to receive an award recognizing the hard work and dedication of the state’s tourism industry.”

To increase tourism promotional efforts during the state’s bicentennial year, Godwin collaborated with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Visit Mississippi, the Mississippi Tourism Association and Mississippi’s statewide CVB’s along with a host of state agencies, state tourism organizations and Mississippi tourism professionals on the creation and execution of the marketing campaign. The campaign was geared to attract out-of-state visitors and prolong their stays in the state, and included television, print and digital advertising as well as video and web site development, public relations and special event marketing.

“Mississippi Runs Deep” launched in January 2018 and ran through June 30, the end of Mississippi's fiscal year. The six-month campaign generated 90,395 visitors, 93,765 room nights booked and more than $54 million in visitor spending. This represented a 21:1 ratio of visitor spending to marketing investment.

The judges in their comments wrote:

This campaign developed a creative brand and effectively executed a strategy that included well-produced ads across multiple media platforms….they had strategic targeting, a variety of media and consistent messaging and imagery lured visitors. The “runs deep” branding was creative, and the campaign successfully used an integrated approach to reach a wide audience in the targeted areas….”

With "Runs Deep" as the campaign's unifying theme, the creative strategy played up Mississippi's legendary mystique and informed those looking to connect with family and friends that Mississippi offers a wealth of experiences with depth and authenticity.

“This campaign was all about capturing and telling Mississippi’s brand story, and that’s what we do…partner with clients to position their brands and creatively tell their stories,” said Walt Denton, Godwin Chief Operating Officer and brand manager of the project.  “It’s especially gratifying for our work to be recognized on a national stage with so many other outstanding campaigns. But most importantly it proved to be an outstanding return on investment for the state by driving traffic, putting heads in beds and in many cases introducing first-time visitors to our unique attractions.”

Mississippi Runs Deep Tourism Campaign & Results: Other finalists in the Special Projects category included the state of Tennessee and Puerto Rico.

Earlier this year, Godwin won 25 awards from the AAF Jackson and Mississippi Gulf Coast ADDY Award competitions, including a Best of Show award for the Mississippi Runs Deep campaign work.

Godwin, founded in 1937, is the South’s oldest marketing communications firm. Headquartered in Jackson with service offices on the Gulf Coast and in Dallas, Godwin serves clients nationwide, primarily in healthcare, banking, finance and insurance, utilities, tourism, manufacturing, food and consumer goods. It has been recognized numerous times among the nation’s leading agencies as measured in revenues by Ad Age and AdWeek. Godwin provides advertising, public relations, digital and content marketing services. Godwin is part of a group of sister companies under the holding company Local Marketing Solutions Group, Inc. based in Chicago; a member of Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies in America.

For more information visit www.godwin.com and www.lmsg.co

Contact:

Lee Ragland | 601.360.9449

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