Wisconsin’s Most Dramatic Show Has a Limited Run

Each season is special in Wisconsin, but fall is arguably the most breathtaking. Then again, Minnesota and Michigan could attempt to say the same thing. So how do we make our fall colors the more desirable ones to see? With a sense of humor and a sense of urgency.

The Idea

When it comes to fall, timing is everything. Daylight grows shorter, and the leaves fall off the trees. So we cast Wisconsin’s gorgeous fall colors in somewhat of a limited-time-only role, presenting the short window of viewing opportunity as a valuable commodity.
Hourglass in Union Station
The question was asked, “How can we capture the fleeting nature of Wisconsin’s fall colors in a visually compelling way?” Naturally we thought, “How about an eight-foot-tall hourglass that greets commuters in Chicago’s Union Station?” We filled the top half of the hourglass with synthetic leaves. They fell every ten minutes, to convey the rapid progression of Wisconsin’s fall color and a sense of urgency. The installation serves as a constant reminder for daily commuters to “See the fall leaves before the leaves fall” and directs them to the Fall Color Report on TravelWisconsin.com.
TV spots put viewers into the middle of the fun of fall color viewing and then revealed the breathtaking landscape. We showcase well-known as well as little-known destinations for great fall color viewing while creating a sense of urgency. After all, colors like these are only available while supplies last.
Selfie Stands
If you see Wisconsin’s fall colors, but don’t post, tweet or snap about it, did it really happen? We rolled out permanent, year-round “Selfie Stands” in several Wisconsin state parks just in time to help travelers capture themselves from all the right angles and share brag-worthy foliage photos with their friends. Snapchat users also had access to custom filters when traveling in designated photo-friendly areas throughout the state.
Wisconsin Weekend in Chicago
We worked with our client to bring Wisconsin fun to Chicago with the second annual “Wisconsin Weekend in Chicago.” The festivities included three unique events around the downtown area: a Wisconsin trivia party at the new Chicago Safehouse restaurant, a Badgers game celebration as part of Will’s Northwoods Inn’s Musky Fest event, and a Packers party at O’Leary’s Public House.
More PR Efforts

To leverage the Union Station hourglass and put Wisconsin on the national fall color map, we distributed a fall media kit to regional and national media. The one-of-a-kind kits included a mini hourglass, fall treats and story ideas.

To round out coverage of another beautiful fall, we tapped three Instagram influencers to visit Wisconsin this season: a travel couple, a beer influencer and a scenic drone photographer.

How it Worked

Integrating our TV, print, digital, experiential and PR efforts allowed us to layer in our message of fall urgency in our target markets. Social chatter was way up. The hourglass installation was mentioned over and over by numerous news and media outlets. From conventional to unexpected, our executions put Wisconsin’s fall colors in front of people in a variety of environments and conveyed a sense of timeliness while maintaining the feel of our overarching “Real Fun” campaign.