Austin is an independent city. Local businesses are revered and drive the spirit and personality of the city. Spurred on by our city’s love of local, the City of Austin called for proposals to develop a creative initiative that championed the local businesses to visitors of the Violet Crown city. lookthinkmake proposed ATXLoves, a website and campaign that aggregates locally-created lists of Austin hometown favorites from major publications and community leaders alike. We were awarded the grant, administered by Visit Austin, and worked with our community to make ATXLoves come to life.
In the three-month live of the media campaign.
Local businesses across all 10 council districts were promoted and celebrated.
ATXLoves was a true omni-channel tourism campaign spanning various physical and digital channels.
Once autumn hits, Austin really comes alive with festivals, sports, and international attractions. The ATXLoves initiative was launched and executed in the second half of 2018 to sync up with Austin’s peak fall and holiday tourism window. Encouraging visitors to dive into the local scene while being welcomed by Austin residents from all parts of the city, ATXLoves brought together the community and is a fun and engaging tool for visitors—and locals too.
ATXLoves is an open-ended statement that allows individuals to finish the thought by adding their favorites: food, music, shops, outdoor spots, and more. The ATXLoves brand and voice reflects Austin’s creative and energetic personality, through a handmade typeface that features flexible thematic designs to work in multiple media executions.
It was important to let Austinites highlight what they love about the city from well-known iconic businesses to under-the-radar local neighborhood gems. We collected lists of favorites from local media polls, neighborhood groups, chambers of commerce, independent business districts, and local denizens from all areas of the city. All these lists were combined into one big welcoming guide.
With the plan and lists in place, we were then able to brand, design, develop, and implement a fully integrated media campaign to share the ATXLoves brand message far and wide.
The campaign blanketed Austin with an integrated media mix. The campaign included a targeted national digital advertising campaign and social media effort, complemented by local transit, out-of-home, in-airport digital displays, community outreach, and local event activations featuring branded ATXLoves materials.
We reached our audience throughout their journey-planning process. Soon-to-be-visitors were met with online banners after booking a tip. And arriving guests were welcomed by banners along the South Congress Bridge, as well as by digital billboards at ABIA’s baggage claim.
We developed physical collateral as a way to connect with visitors, locals, and concierges on the ground. Posters promoting curated, themed lists were placed in high-traffic local business areas. ATXLoves swag kits—including totes, koozies, pins, stickers, and bookmarks featuring a variety of diverse businesses—were passed out to shoppers and festival attendees in several popular pedestrian areas. Sets of postcards were delivered to hotels in Austin for guests to enjoy, take home, or send along.
ATXLoves’ engaging website was developed as the main hub of the initiative, serving as a place to find local businesses nearby, discover specialty lists, and discover more about the area directly around you. Austin favorites could be filtered by category and location, allowing visitors to explore the city in many ways. The curated lists, with their unique Austin themes, offered site users a different way to engage with Austin beyond the typical travel categories.
The ATXLoves campaign captured a national audience through digital banners and outreach across social media channels. Themed weekly Instagram contests featuring collections of local Austin merchandise helped drive traffic, bring awareness, and share the Austin love to people far and wide.
The campaign featured more than 800 local businesses, with many proudly displaying their “ATXLoves Me” window clings and using the campaign’s social media platforms to promote their services.
The campaign also garnered engagement with dozens of local community groups and Austin-based personalities, including local chambers of commerce and merchant organizations, professional athletes, award-winning musicians, editors, bloggers, and more.
Many featured businesses continue to proudly display their “ATXLoves Me” window clings.
We created a blog series highlighting pillars of Austin’s local business community. With portrait photos with the photographer behind “Humans of Austin” and interviews with diverse businesses across all districts of the city, we highlighted the breadth, creativity, and personality of Austin’s many neighborhoods.
When visitors visit ATXLoves, they know they’re getting the true Austin experience from a collective of Austinites.
ATXLoves had a successful launch, and the brand still lives on today. With over a million headline impressions on PRWeb, 56,000 page views, and 900+ featured local businesses across all neighborhoods of Austin—all in the first three months of the campaign—ATXLoves truly showed the world how much we all love Austin.
ATXLoves grew up from the community by gathering 72 individual "best of" list from local influencers, community groups, and non profits.
The potential impressions from PR Web distribution of press releases alone was greater than one hundred million.
Through relationships with local media and influencers, more than 747,000 social media impressions were earned in addition to paid efforts.
Visitors to ATXLoves.com spent more than three hundred hours exploring curated list of local businesses.