Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to the Cincy region. (That is, Cincinnati or Newport, Covington or Florence in Northern Kentucky.)

No? A few yeses in the back? Well, we’re going to need to do better than that.

Here’s why: Cincy is the most vibrant cultural destination in the midwest/south that travelers aren’t considering (yet).

It’s a region with street art around every corner, boundary-pushing museums, dance and theater that features major Broadway shows, a bustling food scene getting noticed by James Beard Foundation, a legendary bourbon and beer scene, three major league sports teams (ahem, watch the Super Bowl this year?), and unique neighborhoods with their own flavor and charm.

Destination ENV has been tasked with transforming this undiscovered local gem to an unapologetic travel favorite. We know it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But just one quarter into it, and we’re on our way with 115 million impressions served and creative performing at or well above benchmarks across the board (I mean, as high as 24% CTRs on Twitter).

Cincy skyline

The challenge

Years of focusing on convention and sports-associated travel left a significant gap in inspiring audiences to choose Cincy as a leisure travel destination. Put simply: with more than a decade of renaissance and economic development, the reality of the Cincinnati region didn’t match the traveler’s perception.

Furthermore, Cincinnati’s CVB and Meet NKY recently joined forces as the Cincy region — a unified brand with a colorful, energetic new look and feel that brings to life all things Cincy culture. What better time to harness their power with a new digital media campaign, especially considering the post-pandemic return to travel?

The concept

Cincy image 1

Our Culture. Your Cincy was born from the insight that one of the most culturally packed destinations in the U.S. is also one of the friendliest.

Across our display, paid social (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), paid search, and partner direct, the creative uses bold color and high-impact video and imagery to extend a warm, open invitation for travelers to experience Cincy’s unrivaled culture.

Our goal is to showcase all the refreshing collisions of culture that make the region so undeniably unique and exploration worthy, with a strong emphasis on EDI.

The results

Since leisure travel is a new priority for Cincy, we honed in on shifting the region’s perception with prospective travelers, from weekend warriors to family road-trippers — and moving these folks from dreaming about their trip to booking one.

Our initial focus has been on increasing travel for regional drive markets such as Nashville, Chicago, Detroit, Lexington, and more. Campaign performance has been consistently strong since launch, with some impressive initial metrics.

  • The overall media campaign has delivered over 115 million impressions, 1.2 million clicks, and 1.5 million website sessions
  • Overall engagement is high with each channel achieving or exceeding CTR benchmarks, with Twitter being the clear front runner with an average CTR of 24%
  • The campaign continues to drive new users to the Cincy website

We’re thrilled with the early momentum we’ve established — and we’re just getting started.

This campaign has allowed us to collect new insights and understand how audiences react to new messaging. With a solid foundation in place, we’re expanding our efforts beyond media to establish a strong content program and organic presence for the region.

And as air travel continues to pick up, we’ll be broadening our focus beyond the drive market and continuing to spread the good word about Cincy all around the country.