Thread’s assignment: Craft a travel campaign for Visit McMinnville, the tourism board for a small town destination in the middle of Oregon wine country. Emerging during the pandemic-thawing months of 2022, this campaign needed to speak authentically and inclusively to a diverse audience of travelers, while setting McMinnville apart from the marketing cliches that are so prevalent in the wine tourism industry.
Thread worked with our design partners Factory North to embody the honest charm of the town, sincerely connecting with our audience while promoting inclusivity. We turned the spotlight on real people and places and their unique details, while using humor and maintaining a tone that felt understated, intimate and human-scale.
Inspired by a vintage town map found at a yard sale, Thread developed a concept that centers on an illustrated map of McMinnville. The map served as the framework for sharing everything that’s special about the town, from restaurants and bars to parks and public spaces.
The campaign, “Meet Us In McMinnville,” introduces the real places and people that make McMinnville so one-of-a-kind. People like father-daughter restaurateurs Nick and Carmen Peirano, local jam maker Danny Roberts and Michelin-star chef Matthew Lightner.
Still ads (for billboards, print media, Instagram, etc.) feature snapshots and hand-written notes inspired by the inspiration-gathering phase of planning a trip. These notes were hand-lettered by Factory North, incorporating headlines written by Thread.
“Visit McMinnville loved working with the fabulous, creative, and fun team at Thread. While dreaming up a new campaign to represent our entire wine country community, Thread was our partner in finding our key audiences and how to speak to them. The result was a heart-driven style with smart strategy and witty, thoughtful messaging.”
Thread also wrote scripts for a series of video ads filmed at locales around McMinnville. Through these short, intimate, human introductions, we invite viewers to “meet the best jam for your biscuit” and “come for the wine varietals, or the people varietals.” Animated details lend whimsy and a dynamic sense of motion to snapshots of local people and places.
McMinnville’s campaign anthem (above) carefully sidesteps the travel industry’s highlight-reel formula. The script takes viewers on a fast-paced idiosyncratic tour of town, hopping quickly from destination to destination while introducing the real folks a visitor might bump into along the way.
Watch more video spots here:
HiFi Wine Bar
Nick’s Italian Cafe
The “Meet Us in McMinnville” campaign’s candid, quirky approach made it clear that McMinnville is no ordinary Oregon travel destination. By spotlighting authentic places and voices, the campaign gives a warm welcome to a diverse range of visitors.