"SHAPED BY MONTANA" Tourism Campaign Wins Platinum Award

Montana’s Office of Tourism (MTOT) was recently honored with an Advertising Platinum Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) at their 56th Annual Adrian Awards Gala held January 28th in New York City.

Montana’s "SHAPED BY MONTANA" print campaign was one of only seven Platinum award winners among over 1,200 submissions from across the globe. The Adrian Awards exemplify the year’s top travel advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns throughout the world. Montana shared the platinum distinction with well-known global hotel brands such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Hilton Worldwide as well as international destinations such as Travel Alberta.

"Being able to showcase Montana in refreshing and compelling ways is essential in keeping tourism a successful and prosperous industry for Montana," said Meg O’Leary, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. "Travel is a competitive market and the Office of Tourism and its marketing partners at Mercury CSC are doing tremendous work on behalf of the state in creating captivating and strategic marketing that breaks through the advertising clutter."

Montana’s "SHAPED BY MONTANA" print campaign, which ran from March to October 2011, was comprised of two-page spreads with one page featuring an editorial-style interview with a featured Montanan and the other showcasing a full-page photo of beautiful Montana imagery. Based on research insights, MTOT wanted to use stunning imagery and authentic, local voices to portray the state in its print advertising. The state chose influential Montanans who had been "SHAPED BY" the natural wonders that travelers interested in visiting Montana find compelling. These "influencers" shared their candid and unvarnished thoughts about Montana and how it has shaped them. The chosen influencers were charismatic and recognizable, having achieved some notoriety doing things that Montana’s visitors could experience themselves.

The elements of honesty, the unexpected and simplicity prevailed in each interview:

* Casey Anderson, a grizzly bear expert who hosts a show on National Geographic Wild.

* Conrad Anker, a mountaineer who has summited Mt. Everest three times and is sponsored by The North Face.

* Kevin Connolly, a Winter X Games medalist and photographer who was born without legs.

* Jenny Grossenbacher, a renowned fly-fishing guide and author.

"Advertising awards are a nice validation of our work, but what truly excites us is to see how the marketing is delivering results for Montana," said Jeri Duran, Division Administrator for the Montana Office of Tourism. "Year to year we are seeing increases in traveler spending and overall visitation, growth in lodging revenues and occupancy, as well as adding more jobs and tax revenue to Montana’s economy."

In addition to the Platinum Award, MTOT was awarded four other 2012 HSMAI Adrian Awards:

* Gold (Overall Campaign)

* Silver (Television) in the Advertising Division

* Gold (Social Media/Social Networking)

* Silver (Web Ad Series) in the Digital Marketing Division

This past fall Montana’s "SHAPED BY" campaign was also recognized by the travel industry’s top national awards program, the National Council of State Tourism Director’s (NCSTD) Mercury Awards by winning the 2012 Best Print Advertising Campaign. Judges for this competition noted that it was "…a synergistic, well-executed campaign with strong results."

For more information about Montana’s current marketing campaigns, visit:

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