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Montana has nothing. Or so some people think. The Montana Office of Tourism conducted extensive research to better define the state’s best attributes and determine which types of travelers are most likely to visit. We discovered that Montana’s ‘nothing’ is indeed ‘something’ to the Geotraveler, an emerging target audience that appreciates authenticity and has the desire to get off the beaten path.

Mercury's work for the Montana Office of Tourism has been widely recognized as some of the most effective and innovative tourism marketing in the nation. The campaign was awarded a Silver Effie earlier this year—the first U.S. tourism destination to win an Effie since 2005. U.S. Travel Association, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and Media Magazine have also recognized the campaign.

More importantly, it worked. Montana's national parks and hotels have reported record numbers compared to their peers during the campaign. According to Smith Travel Research, Montana had the nation's highest hotel occupancy rate in July 2010 and the second highest in August 2010. In addition, the Montana Office of Tourism exceeded all of its marketing objectives: awareness of Montana's advertising doubled nationwide and increased by 17 times in Chicago (one of its key markets); and those aware of Montana's advertising were more likely to associate Montana with its national parks and were as much as 2.5 times more likely to travel to Montana.

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