The Challenge

Despite Jackson’s status as the capitol of Mississippi, the city has not traditionally been a popular destination for Millennial generation travelers, the most sought after demographic for travel destinations. Issues with negative pre-conceived notions about the city, coupled with the attitude that “there’s nothing to do in Jackson” made successfully marketing to leisure travelers difficult with traditional destination marketing strategies.

The Solution

Our research guided us to the conclusion that Millennials are increasingly seeking out “authentic” destinations and experiences. This aligned well with the assets of Jackson. We developed a new marketing strategy built around a content marketing approach subsequently supported with more traditional advertising tactics. To highlight unique and exciting experiences in Jackson, we created a fast-paced music video that highlighted 200 different locations in, around, and high above the city. This was followed up with a 6-part “docutainment” series hosted by a prominent comedian. The series explored the history of Jackson, as well as interesting contemporary people, places, and events in the City with Soul. We launched a web-based TV-style cooking and talk show featuring Jackson area chefs and personalities. We created a branding campaign based around key Millennial personas, and helped to institute an influencer-driven messaging campaign to reinforce people, places, and events captured in the docutainment series.

Like so many DMOs and CVBs across the country, Visit Jackson watched COVID-19 absolutely devastate the travel and hospitality ecosystem. The mayor of the city reached out to Visit Jackson and asked them to produce a video message of optimism and hope for the future, that also acknowledged the ongoing hardship its citizens were (and are) enduring.
Visit Jackson turned to MWB to help develop and produce the video that would balance optimistic, positive narrative with not appearing tone deaf to those effected by the pandemic.

The result was “City with Soul Strong,” a :60 piece that is relevant for both citizens and potential future visitors alike. From start to finish, we were able to have the video completed and on-air within four days.

The “My City” video racked up more than 70,000 views during its first year alone. In recognition of its strategic creativity, the video was also honored as a finalist at the 2018 London-based City Nation Place Awards.

Views In First Year

City with Soul Docutainment

We produced a six-part “docutainment” series to highlight Jackson’s “City with Soul” branding and expand on the one-of-a-kind people, places, and events that make up the city.

Chefs with Soul

Chefs with Soul was a web-based TV-style cooking/talk show. Hosted by a prominent Jackson restauranteur, the show featured discussions with award-winning Jackson chefs and interesting personalities. Show guests then sampled fare from acclaimed Jackson restaurants, and discussed some of their favorite dishes and events.

Sales kits featuring auto-play video on mini LCD screens were sent to travel professionals.

This unique and memorable presentation helped Jackson stand out among other competing destinations.

This is our city, This is my city!

“My City” was spun out as a sub-campaign specifically for generating civic pride of those who live in and around Jackson. The anchor asset of the campaign was a new video featuring “poetry slam” style narration and reflections on the city’s ongoing transformation, from a too-often overlooked Southern city to a vital urban destination.

“My City” is additionally supported by micro-influencer campaign, merchandise, and a city-focused blog MWB helped build, located at jxn.ms.

CITY WITH SOUL BRANDING CAMPAIGN

To support longer-format content, MWB created a branding campaign consisting of videos for use on television and social platforms. The branding campaign was specifically targeted at potential Millennial travelers, focusing on key personas that aligned with Jackson’s hospitality assets.

“My City” is additionally supported by micro-influencer campaign, merchandise, and a city-focused blog MWB helped build, located at jxn.ms.

Soul Sessions podcast

For both area residents and potential travelers, MWB produces Soul Sessions podcast from MWB Studios for Visit Jackson. Visit Jackson staff host each episode and feature a guest from a prominent Jackson event, attraction, or restaurant. Soul Sessions is available on Stitcher, iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud.