Whatever you want in a vacation, there’s a Missouri for how you operate. The catch: MO isn’t the only state touting variety. Enter Mo — a genial, welcoming guide who can pair any visitor with their perfect travel M-O.

SITUATION

In 2019, the Missouri Division of Tourism (MDT) was at a crossroads. The state’s long-running campaign wasn’t attracting enough new visitors and longstanding negative to mediocre perceptions of the state weren’t improving.

With surrounding states promoting a similar “something for everyone” message, Missouri needed to reach new audiences and overcome negative perceptions — in a way no state has.

INSIGHT

To increase visitors to the state and make a bigger economic impact, Missouri needed to expand its reach to new audiences and get them to consider MO as a viable destination.

Testing showed travelers saw Missouri as an easygoing and affordable destination with a variety of things to see and do.

SOLUTION

Meet Mo. A genial, welcoming guide who personifies the state of Missouri and can pair any visitor with their perfect M-O.

The “That’s My M-O” campaign would introduce a different version of the Mo character for every travel “M-O” (modus operandi), guiding prospective visitors to information about destinations and attractions based on their unique travel interests. Want to go hiking? Meet Outdoor Mo. Fine-dining connoisseur? Grab a table with Foodie Mo. Looking to broaden horizons? Let us introduce Culture Mo.

The question became “Could Mo help bring visitors back AND attract new visitors?” We believed she could, and we were right. Incremental trips and visitor spending for 2021 exceeded 2019 and as far back as 2016, as did metrics for campaign recall and key attribute association.

THE CAMPAIGN

The social campaign: On day one of the campaign launch, all owned social channels changed from Visit MO to Visit Mo, switched out profile pictures, came from the voice and perspective of Mo, and began to build the #ThatsMyMO trend. In addition to the overall takeover, the customized campaign videos, images and individual content per Mo and M-O were shared across channels. All of this in partnership with a dedicated paid media campaign, running concurrently with existing target cities’ consumer campaigns, paving the way to support the real-time #ThatsMyMO social media takeover.

Paid social media: Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, we focused on users interested in travel within our key drive markets — Missouri and the surrounding states. When delivered a social specific campaign ad, users were driven to a custom website experience on VisitMo.com to take our That’s My M-O quiz to reveal their travel M-O and Mo, as well as explore the various Mo personas, and Missouri sights and attractions.

Other media: In conjunction with organic and paid social media content, the campaign included a variety of paid media tactics, content partnerships and earned marketing to create a holistic Mo ecosystem. If served with an audio ad, audience members could head to Missouri social media channels and dive further into the Mo experience.

The partners: In addition to Missouri DMO accounts engaging in the conversation to propel the campaign and hashtag further, influencers ranging from 1,000 followers to more than 1 million all shared their Missouri moments and their Mo.


The Numbers

1.9B

Total Impressions

138M

Social Engagements

4.8M

Website Visits

1.1M

Incremental Trips

$1.2B

Incremental Visitor Spending

75%

Recall Among “Travel-Ready” Consumers

CONTENT CREATION