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The Best State Tourism Campaigns – Promoting Your Anchor Tenants

I absolutely love it when states promote specifics. It is so difficult, and politically difficult, that most states simply try to be all things to all people. Recently we developed a list of all 50 U.S. states and then to the right we listed each state’s tourism slogan, mixing them up. Then we asked people to link the state to the correct slogan. Interestingly, very few people can ever get past eleven. They knew that “The Aloha State” is Hawaii, the “Grand Canyon State” is Arizona and that “Virginia is for Lovers.”

But so many states end up with generic campaigns that can fit virtually anyone, anywhere.

But thank goodness for campaigns where the state promotes its “anchor tenants” – the very best of what they have to offer.


Utah’s Mighty 5 campaign promoting their five national parks is brilliant. In fact, the campaign is so good that my wife and I actually went there to experience three of them. And that was such a good experience we’re already planning to head back to do the other two. And, by the way, while we were there we visited dozens of other towns, cities, attractions and attended other events.

Check out Utah’s Mighty 5 campaign here: http://www.visitutah.com/places-to-go/most-visited-parks/the-mighty-5


Another brilliant campaign is Oregon’s campaign: The Seven Wonders of Oregon. With the campaign revolving around the words “All we can figure is that whoever named the seven wonders of the world, never set foot in Oregon.” The videos and photos focus on the “Seven Wonders of Oregon,” which include the spectacular Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and four others. And then you can see a separate video focusing on each AND what else you can do while there.

You can see Oregon’s Seven Wonders campaign here: http://traveloregon.com/7wonders/

Just brilliant.


America’s best road trips must include South Dakota. The state has so much to see and do, how do you narrow down the activities? The South Dakota Department of Tourism came up with The Great 8, which includes Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, the historic town of Deadwood, and more. It is another great example of promoting specifics.

Check out South Dakota’s Great 8 campaign here: https://www.travelsouthdakota.com/explore-with-us/great-8


ALWAYS promote your anchor tenants, just like a mall does, and everyone else will benefit. These three examples showed us what they have that the rest of us can’t get or do closer to home. They will take some hits for promoting specifics, BUT they also put their state on the list of “must-visit destinations” for people around the world.

For you promoting counties or even a single community, ALWAYS promote your top one, two or three activities (things to do) that are clearly different or better than what the people in your major market areas can get or do closer to home. If you do this, YOU will become the “destination of choice.”

And, by the way, while we’re there we will visit many other places. Take note and congrats to Utah, Oregon and South Dakota for a job well done!

I’d LOVE to hear how you promote your anchor tenants.

Video tip



Roger Brooks is one of North America’s most sought after speakers on the subjects of tourism, community branding, marketing, and product development. As CEO of Roger Brooks International, Roger has assisted more than a thousand communities over the past 30 years in their quest to become outstanding destinations for residents, businesses, and visitors. Author of the book “Your Town: A Destination – The 25 Immutable Rules of Successful Tourism,” Roger provides communities with bottom-line solutions and fresh ideas that can be implemented today to make a difference tomorrow.

If you’d like to know more about how to promote your anchor tenants, consider renting Promoting Your Anchor Tenants.

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