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City Calls Itself Epic, Hopes More Tourists Come Visit

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Can hipsters and Divvy bikes sell Chicago to visitors around the world? A play off Burnham's famous "make no little plans" line, the catchphrase "Chicago Epic" was introduced as the centerpiece of a new tourism campaign by Choose Chicago yesterday, according to Crain's. An 80-second spot featuring images from the Field Museum, city beaches and even Michael Jordan, as well as a hipper view of Windy City culture and narration by poetry slam founder Marc Smith, encourages tourists to "do something epic" when they visit. Set to roll out later this spring to domestic markets, likely on the West and East coasts, the campaign will have to do something pretty epic itself to help meet the Mayor's ambitious goal of 55 million annual visitors by 2020.

This rebranding of Chicago and a domestic focus, which may be capitalizing on a resurgent American economy, comes on the heels of a shift in the way Choose Chicago is approaching foreign marketing and a step away from the more event-based marketing that's been done in the past. In November, the group announced it was cutting contracts in Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, and London, and shut down operations in the Netherlands, while opening a new office in Chengdu.

The American focus makes sense -- while results from 2014 aren't final yet, Choose Chicago said it projects that a record 50.2 million visitors came to the city last year, 48.6 million of those from the United States. The pressure will be on the keep up these results; Choose Chicago just got a little less than $2 million more added to its 2015 budget.

·Is this city 'epic'? Choose Chicago makes the case [Crain's]
·Previous Tourism coverage [Curbed Chicago]