“What we learned as we went through this process is that the tourism dollars are very competitive, and tourism is a crowded market. So in the past, it was common to have ads run a pretty picture saying ‘come here,’ but that won’t be successful in 2018 and beyond,” said Rebecca Agner, Wilson communications and marketing director. “With the unique attributes of Wilson, we knew we had to have a campaign that matched that. It had to be smart, it had to be digital, and it had to include all we have to offer.” In that spirit, the “Simply Wonderful” slogan has been replaced with the campaign dubbed “Prepare to be surprised.” A four-color whirligig logo around Wilson, North Carolina, also was replaced in favor of a three-color more abstract logo with the city name and state underneath.
“The new campaign shares firsthand experiences of surprising visits to Wilson through the perspectives of various types of travelers who share a curious explorer mindset, including pit-stoppers, art-seekers and tournament attendees,” a news release states. “The campaign is intended to impart the feeling of word-of-mouth recommendations and a ‘personal journal’ feel. The initiative is whimsical and artistic, and the strategy is a notable step away from traditional scenic destination advertising.”