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Wieden+Kennedy Wieden+Kennedy Portland Portlandia

Oregon sees record tourism growth, cites successful marketing and W+K creative


By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

May 10, 2016 | 3 min read

Oregonians don’t necessarily like to make a big fuss. They also very much like it when people come to visit the state (though former governor Tom McCall once famously said, in 1971, “Come visit us again and again. This is a state of excitement. But for heaven's sake, don't come here to live.”). Naturally beautiful, the state does have its quirks, even outside of the myriad Portlandia schticks. One is the state’s new marketing campaign, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland, that tells the world “We Like It Here.” Though it's a slightly whimsical departure, the agency and Travel Oregon, the state's travel trade body, look to continue its winning streak for the state.

According to the Portland Business Journal, the state of Oregon has seen an uptick in tourism spending. In 2015, Oregon was north of $10.6bn, a 4.7 per cent increase from the previous year. The national average of tourism spending increase is 4.5 per cent. Additionally, tourism accounts for 105,600 jobs in the state, a 4,000 job lift from 2014. Visitors from overseas accounted for 12 per cent of the tally, with 5 per cent overall growth and double-digit growth from some markets, including China.

Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson notes that Wieden+Kennedy’s efforts, most notably its highly successful two-year “7 Wonders of Oregon” campaign, highlighting iconic, beautiful and interesting places in the state, was one of the key drivers of momentum, saying, with a typical Oregon wink that, "It was so successful that we changed it entirely and came out with an entirely new campaign this spring.”

“We Like It Here.” is decidedly soft-sell. For those who have visited, it doesn’t take much convincing to return. For those who have yet to experience The Beaver State, the creative from W+K lets them make up their own minds in this unique, clever, “no big whoop” spin.

"Oregon is an inspiring, beautiful and geographically diverse part of the country and we want more people to explore and enjoy it,” notes Eric Baldwin, creative director for Wieden+Kennedy. “Oregonians are humble though, so we thought it would be fun to undersell the magnificence, that's how we arrived at 'We like it here. You might too.’”

The creative features some of the more visually compelling parts of the state including Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, the Willamette Valley, Trillium Lake, the Southern Oregon Coast, Forest Park and Lake Billy Chinook. The site also allows visitors to submit their own favorite place in Oregon (for the record, I would go with Hood River and Manzanita).

The campaign is running in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Boise and Vancouver, B.C. Broadcast will be enhanced by a fully-integrated digital, social, and public relations campaigns as well.

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