NEW ULM - Looking to fight old, stagnate views of New Ulm, the local Convention and Visitors Bureau rolled out in earnest with a hip, energetically new tourism campaign on Monday.
The Bureau signed up for the $50,000 campaign with the Minneapolis-based firm Haberman Modern Storytellers. Working the Bureau, the firm developed a respectable multi-media messaging around the new slogan "Germans Have More Fun." Adopting a Hermann the German bobblehead doll as a mascot, the campaign's quirky video follows the bobblehead around as Hermann enjoys popular locations in New Ulm.
He pops up at Schell's, Flandrau State Park, the New Ulm Country Club, Turner Hall and the Brown County Historical Society Museum as well as other sites and appears to down libations of beer and wine at various establishments.
Hermann the German bobblehead greets visitors at a welcome sign near the city limits of New Ulm in the video produced by Haberman Modern Storytellers.
Hermann poses in front of the Schell’s Beer bus, which is a Volkswagen.
The video is complemented by a website and profiles on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. The campaign even has a Twitter account written humorously from the bobblehead's perspective.
Laura Nefs, Haberman's digital project manager for the campaign, said the firm was looking to break up traditional assumptions about Minnesota.
"People have a presumption of visiting Minnesota for a Garrison Keillor by Lake Wobegon vibe. We want to let them know that New Ulm is not only a place for kicking up your feet and reading a book for a week. We want people to know there's plenty of fun, exciting things to do in town," said Nefs.
The campaign's biggest event was Monday night with several marketing activities at the St. Paul Saints game. Hermann bobblehead with his handler "Hans" threw out the first pitch. Free "Germans Have More Fun" T-shirts were distributed. People were encouraged to "dance German " and participate in the website's raffle for a free night at a New Ulm B &B.
CVB Manager Terry Sveine said the campaign was targeted at dramatically broadening tourism to New Ulm, particularly with younger age groups, without giving up the city's more traditional tourism sources.
"Obviously, our goal is always to increase visits to New Ulm," said Sveine, "But, we're really excited about the approach [Haberman] is taking. This one has great, universal appeal."
The campaign is slated to run through November. The video can be cut down into several 30-second clips and only shown online through digital advertising the firm purchased on Facebook and Google.
The "Germans Have More Fun" campaign website is also targeted for appearing with Google search results associated with phrases like "Vacation in Minnesota" and "Fun in Minnesota."
The campaign and video can be seen at www.GermansHaveMoreFun.com
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)