Inside Scoop – Behind the Making of 365 Extraordinary Days in Oregon
What does it take to build a visual mosaic of 365 Extraordinary Days in Oregon?
Coffee, sugar, lost sleep and an army of dedicated and enthusiastic staff, partners and vendors!
The Travel Oregon (TO) office has been buzzing with excitement over the past month-and-a-half as we got ready to take “365″ live on April 1. Our “east” conference room in Salem was transformed into a campaign style war room—stacks of event listings were strewn over the floors, the walls were adorned with design “comps,” and a full-time temp hammered away on a Mac and a PC (ok, not simultaneously) trying to get the events identified by the campaign into our web database.
And all across the state, our partners scurried to get us lists of ideas for events and things to do. Meanwhile in Portland, teams at Wieden+Kennedy (lead/ad agency), opus:creative (web agency), and eROI (e-marketing agency) were diligently working away on the vital components of what’s since been called “one of the best client/agency collaborations I have ever worked on” by Ken Smith, our Account Director at Wieden+Kennedy.
Welcome to 365 Extraordinary Days in Oregon!
Conception: It all started at an inconspicuous fifth floor meeting at the cavernous Pearl District offices of our ad agency Wieden+Kennedy (w+k) in early February. Our account team at w+k (Ken Smith, Denise De Grand & Meghan Pruitt) presented us with the brilliant concept of building an evocative “mosaic style” calendar that gives you a daily glimpse into this zany and wonderful place we call “Oregon.” Everyday, we’d highlight a different event or thing to do in the state and then tell you about the event and how to get there and what else you can do in the area.
Goal: The goal of this campaign was simple: drive traffic to our flagship site TravelOregon.com. As communicators living in the digital medium, our challenge is to tell you about this great state that we live, work and play in a visually engaging and compelling manner. TravelOregon.com is of course a great start. It’s a viscerally engaging experience that combines the romance of Oregon with tons (more than 6,000 pages) of information—on everything from how to find public art in downtown Portland to the obscure “Crack in the Ground” in Christmas Valley—in addition to planning tools.
But how do we get YOU to TravelOregon.com and allow you to discover the hidden gems of Oregon? This is the challenge that gave birth to our campaign, “365 Extraordinary Days in Oregon“.
Process: All we had to do now was to figure out 365 different things to do in Oregon, keeping in mind that they had to be equally representative of the entire state and our key niches (outdoor recreation, culture & history, arts etc.). We also had to ensure that everything was figured out and produced and live by April 1!
As you can imagine, the most daunting and time consuming task was collecting the actual events and things to do and laying them out on a day-by-day basis, building a “house of cards” if you will. The minute we found out a certain event had to move or wasn’t appropriate for the campaign (no offense Miss. White Trash Contest), the entire deck had to be reshuffled and rebuilt again! And invariably, this led us to perform various regional and niche balancing acts that involved almost everyone on the wk and TO team. The photo you see here is a picture of the studio wall at w+k where the physical events/things to do were laid out.
Here is a week-by-week snapshot from my notes of how we accomplished this project:
-Travel Oregon reached out to partners (see credits below) for more calendar ideas; we also engaged our own Amy to map out these events using pushpins on a state map.
-Travel Oregon Interactive team (Ashley, our temp Bryant and yours truly), started the process of inputting events into our web database
-w+k and opus:creative had initial talks about tracking and analysis for the campaign
-Our partners started sending calendar ideas in to staff
Week 3 (3/12 – 3/16)
-TO sent w+k more recommendations compiled from staff and partner recommendations
-w+k sent TO “enhanced” list of 2007 events (woo hoo!) – 365 List #3
-Ashley and Bryant began the arduous task of comparing and contrasting List #2 and List #3 while entering events into site
-Each event listing was double checked and URL’s sent to w+k for input into web
-Final compare and contrast performed; all items were triple checked for accuracy and editorial overview by Mo and Ashley
-URLs for each sent to w+k
-Banners for third party sites produced
-365 beta site up
-E-mail tools produced; analytics set
-Site went live on April 1!
Check out the final results at www.TravelOregon.com/365 and you too will see that there indeed is something magical happening in Oregon, every single day.
Finally, I’d also like to thank for the following individuals and partners for their fantastic work on this campaign…..
Denise DeGrand (I love those 10:30 pm e-mail chats!)
Meghan Pruitt (365 Queen)
Melissa Clayton Tydlaska
Lisa Osbourne (rock star media buyer)
Julie McCreery (production)
Tore Gustafson (custom coding)
Paul Wille (analytics guru)
Rich Joslin (programmer extraordinaire)
Portland Oregon Visitors Association (www.TravelPortland.com)
Willamette Valley Visitors Association (www.OregonWineCountry.org)
Mt. Hood Territory and Hood/Gorge team (www.MtHoodTerritory.com and www.MtHoodGorge.com)
Eastern Oregon Visitors Association (www.eova.com)
Oregon Coast Visitor Association (www.VisitTheOregonCoast.com)
Central Oregon Visitor Association (www.VisitCentralOregon.com)
Southern Oregon Visitors Association (www.sova.org)
Last but not least…my Travel Oregon teammates
Todd Davidson (CEO)
Kevin Wright (Dir. Of marketing)
Holly Macfee (Dir. Brand Strategy)
Ashley Moran (our trusty Interactive editor, without whom I’d be lost!)
Bryant Marban (temp/intern who rocked on production)
Amy Nyberg (map and niche queen)
Michelle Godfrey (Get The Word Out!)
Plus Chris Chester, Jennifer Archer, Gloria Zacharias, Scott West, Carina Reed and Carole Astley for the excellent ideas and suggestions on things to do/places to go for Eastern, Central and S. Coast.
Interactive Marketing Manager
About the Author: Mo Sherifdeen
Mo is Travel Oregon's content publisher and loves to hike the forests and mountain trails of Oregon with his wife, daughter and dog. He is also known for getting lost inside a maze of books at Powell’s, sipping an IPA (or two) and seeking the best fish 'n chips along the Oregon Coast.
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