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.

PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY

Content partnerships and influencer programs provided third-party credibility and increased the frequency and reach of the campaign. High-impact content partnerships included Hulu Ad Selector, Tripadvisor articles and pop-out experience, BuzzFeed listicles and quizzes, Rolling Stone articles and interactive carousel, and regional partnerships.

Our supporting data showed the majority of individuals who follow travel influencers look to them for inspiration. We built relationships with more than 150 micro/macro content creators to reach the audience in a one-to-one fashion.

We engaged diverse influencers either from or with strong ties to Missouri, ranging in age from 25-54, having them share their “M-O” and bring the Mo personality to life with fun, relatable content. Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok influencers created original content from around the state, such as in-feed images and Instagram Stories, including a call to action for audiences to take the quiz. After sharing their Missouri feature on Stories, Instagram influencers shared the corresponding That’s My M-O brand video in one of their frames.


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

BUZZFEED CONTENT

Hulu Interactive Video