Information for Montana's Tourism Industry

Fort Benton



A key learning from the 2010 campaign was the power of influence on a human level. Our message is so much more powerful when it comes from someone the audience is intrigued by, interested in, connects with, or holds in high regard.

We’re not talking celebrities here. We’re talking real Montanans--perhaps well-known in their immediate circles but not in the Hollywood sense--that have a connection to Montana’s brand (spectacular, unspoiled nature) in their everyday lives. They’re shaped by it. It influences what they do and how they live.  The 2011 campaign identified a handful of these folks, created short videos about their perspective on Montana, and utilized their stories in online teaser ads, print campaigns, and web landing pages. View the influencer videos at

The campaign integrates other key learnings—such as the power of wildlife, that stunning scenic shots can stand alone, and the impact of well-placed out-of-home advertising. Online media continues to be an effective, efficient way for MTOT to deliver rich user experiences and unsurpassed accountability.

Here’s a quick campaign overview:


PRINT: Advertising in a variety of travel and lifestyle publications, including Budget Travel, Backpacker, Outside, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, and others. Featured creative includes spreads (interview-style articles featuring Montana “influencers”), full-page ads (utilizing influence via a literary quote) and special sections (cooperative placements with industry partners) below.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

VIEW SPECIAL SECTION: The New Yorker (selected circulation of April 18, 2011 issue)

VIEW SPECIAL SECTION: National Geographic Traveler (May/June 2011 issue)

VIEW SPECIAL SECTION: Audubon (May/June 2011)

VIEW SPECIAL SECTION: History Channel Magazine (May/June 2011)

ONLINE: Partnerships with trusted brand content sites like Discovery Network, National Geographic, and Travel Channel to leverage their Montana and Montana-related content to help tell our story in a credible and truly engaging way. Online placements reflect some of the most innovative, interactive media units available and large-scale placements and homepage/section takeovers (ownership of all available ad space on a page) to increase impact. Efforts include custom microsites, narrated photo slideshows, interactive media units featuring short teaser videos of Glacier, Yellowstone, and documentary-style shorts of Montana “influencers”, and keyword buys on search engine sites (i.e. Google).

Sample Expandable Banner Ad (Yellowstone, 954x60)

Sample Expandable Banner Ad (Glacier, 954x60)

Sample Expandable Banner Ad (Casey, 300x250)

Sample Expandable Banner Ad (Conrad, 300x250)

TELEVISION: Highly-targeted, integrated buy with Travel Channel. Included both 30-second and 10-second, category-exclusive “Travel Moments” spot on Montana that runs during National Parks Week in conjunction with national parks feature programming. Includes custom sweepstakes, featured on both the TV channel and online campaign with


Travel Channel SweepsSpot

OUT-OF-HOME (Key Markets Only): bus wraps, interior bus signage, train wraps, interior train signage, rail station platform signage, billboards, Minneapolis Skyway System, storefront signage (exterior takeovers of unrented retail storefronts).

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

RADIO (Key Markets Only): NPR sponsorship reads in all markets, primarily during AM/PM drive times.


  • The strength in Montana’s offering is the vast amount of spectacular, unspoiled nature—sprinkled with charming gateway towns—that offer breathtaking experiences and relaxed hospitality.
  • Vacationers’ primary attraction to Montana is Yellowstone National Park, followed by Glacier National Park, and Mountains/Forests.
  • Interest in the national parks is at an all-time high. Efforts should leverage this trend for the benefit of all Montana.
  • 86% of visitors to the state return within two years, suggesting the most critical marketing need at the state level is attracting first-time visitors who are likely to convert to repeat visitors.

 (Sources: ITRR, 2010; contracted brand research, 2007; Leisure Trends Group, 2010)

The Geotraveler: well-educated; environmentally aware; socially-conscious as demonstrated by civic engagement, cultural interests and/or lifelong learning; frequent and passionate travelers seeking authentic travel experiences (3+ trips/year, spending a disproportionate amount of income on travel).

Includes men and women, ages 25-64, household income of $50,000+, college graduates, active leisure travelers (with vacation behaviors like visiting national parks, hiking/backpacking, skiing, fishing, etc.)

National, with emphasis in key markets Chicago, Seattle, and Minneapolis


March – September 2011


Katy Peterson, Consumer Marketing Manager, Montana Office of Tourism or 406-841-2896