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Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Kayak and Dog / Photo by Paul Vincent

Seasonal Marketing Recap

Spring/Summer 2021 Campaign 

Explore Minnesota will ease into the summer travel season this year with our :30 bridge spot, "Worth the Wait," which began running out-of-state this winter and will continue through March – with the addition of the Minnesota market. The spot encourages people to start dreaming of summer travel and promises that Minnesota adventures are worth the wait.

Beginning April 19, we'll invite travelers to consider Minnesota for their upcoming travel plans in our Spring/Summer advertising campaign. We know safety and well-being are priorities for travelers right now, therefore we are planning to meet consumers where they are at in their own travel planning in our Find Your Truth North messaging much of which directs consumers to to find their perfect getaway in Minnesota this summer. The campaign hits full stride the week of May 4 with the full complement of digital tactics launching. 

A new :30 spot, "Just Add Water," will run on broadcast, connected TV, digital and paid social in WI, IA, ND, SD, IL, MN, WY, MT + Omaha, Denver , Lincoln, & Kansas City. Featuring a diverse cast of real Minnesota families engaging in various water and water-adjacent activities throughout the state, this spot was concepted with input from focus groups that Explore Minnesota conducted last summer with Black and Latino travelers. "Just Add Water" will run in rotation with last year's summer spot "It's But a Blur," which features a lakeside family retreat in Central Minnesota. Supporting digital banner ads, rich media, content partnerships, paid social and print will run until June 30.

Three niche campaigns will also invite travelers who have found their True North passions to Minnesota this summer with media running in MN, ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, IL, IA, WI, MI, IN, OH, MT and WY.

  • Our Camping niche will build on the high level of interest travelers demonstrated for camping last summer with a new :06 camping video and supporting digital banners, content partnerships and paid social. We're also excited to launch a new video series called "Culinary Campfire," featuring Minnesota chef Yia Vang demonstrating elevated campfire recipes that will appeal to both campers and foodies alike. These videos will live on the Explore Minnesota site and include a printable recipe card so people can prep for their next camping trip.
  • Family Roadtrippers proved to be the most successful niche from last fall, so we're bringing it back this summer as people continue to feel safest travelling by car. We've revised the :06 Roadtrippers spot from Fall and will promote our Travel Planning Kits as a trip planning resource in our digital and paid social ads. Our goal is to position Minnesota as a worthy road trip destination and will leverage this campaign to make a dent in what is likely to be a very competitive space among State DMOs.
  • Minnesota's rich culinary scene will take center stage in our Food & Drink niche, designed to amplify our unique offerings and provide support to a struggling restaurant industry. Our new :06 spot features lakeside patio dining in the Metro and supporting digital ads will highlight food and drink experiences throughout the state. Look for the "Culinary Campfire" content to be cross-merchandised in our Food & Drink niche as well to whet the appetite of cooking enthusiasts, foodies, and 30 minute chef types that have food top in mind during their travel planning.

The cherry on top this summer is The Minnesota Scoop, an ice cream experience that will invite independent shops in every region to create their best #OnlyinMN treat for travelers to enjoy. Beginning in June, curious ice cream lovers will be encouraged to visit multiple shops through a punch card system that rewards their exploration. When their punch card is full, they can redeem it for a limited-edition T-shirt and enter a sweepstakes to win fun summer prizes. Shop participants will receive a kit to execute and promote #MNScoop and the campaign will be supported through influencer outreach and paid social. 

If your business or destination is participating in the Minnesota Scoop promotion, here are some sample social media posts you can use to promote the activation.

Other seasonal initiatives include:

  • Spring/Summer Minnesota Explorer (inserted into the Star Tribune on April 11th), along with an all new/redesigned Minnesota Travel Guide.
  • Partnerships include those with the St. Paul Saints, Iowa Wild, Gopher Sports, Star Tribune, Des Moines Register, Des Moines Magazine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, MGA/EMGA, and MN Grown.
  • Radio partnership with Minnesota Broadcasters Association.
  • Refreshed Find Your True North web landing page for the upcoming season.
Sample Creative 

Media Plans
Just Add Water
Length: 0:30 Direct Link
From dining on a patio lakeside to doing a cannon ball into a lake, if it’s one thing Minnesota has in abundance – it’s water. While water is essential to the body, it’s just as essential to the soul. Summertime in the True North is a state of mind. It’s filled with a sense of adventure, culture and curiosity. It isn’t a compass direction or a specific place on the map; it's individual moments of awe that lead to self-discovery through destinations and the journey between them. Minnesota invites you to summer safely and discover something new in the world and within yourself. No matter which route you take, they can all lead to your True North.
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