Honest-to-Goodness Indiana Branding Campaign

Telling our state’s undertold stories welcomes travelers

Gallery Case Study

Indiana is a state where visitors are warmly welcomed to enjoy authentic experiences, from relaxing to invigorating. In 2014 the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (Indiana Tourism) set out to rebrand itself with the help of long-time marketing partner Williams Randall. By the end of 2015 we had successfully completed the second year of the Honest-to-Goodness Indiana campaign, an effort which draws visitors in with the stories that enrich our heritage and make visiting today so enjoyable.


Case Study

An all-encompassing brand for Indiana Tourism

Prior to Williams Randall becoming Indiana Tourism’s agency of record in 2008, the brand tagline had become “Restart Your Engines.” The client desired that the tagline be retained and utilized for 6 more years. For the 2014 travel season, Williams Randall and Indiana Tourism began the process of developing a new branding platform that all tourism partners could embrace and that would portray the warm welcomes and genuine experiences awaiting visitors from north to south and east to west. A strategic process that included extensive research helped us land on the new phrase: Honest-to-Goodness Indiana.

Bringing it to life through music

The foundation of the new campaign was an original piece of music by a Hoosier artist, one who embodies Honest-to-Goodness Indiana. Jon McLaughlin came on board to write the song, which poetically paints a picture of visiting his home state where “the light is on for one and all.” This beautiful ballad was used for two years in both radio and television commercials, as well as a 4.5-minute music video

Non-broadcast media tell even more of the story

As the song states, “every corner has a story” in the Hoosier state. Through magazine ads and outdoor boards, we are able to tell those stories. They are stories that not only bring the heritage of a destination to life but also reveal the wonderful experience that awaits visitors. Now there are also custom t-shirts available for sale that bring some of that Honest-to-Goodness heritage to life on cotton. https://visitindiana.com/shop

Extending the reach beyond the state borders

In addition to encouraging Indiana residents to discover parts of their home state they’ve never ventured to before, the campaigns in 2014, 2015 and 2016 have extended into new markets: St. Louis, Grand Rapids, Dayton, Chicago and Louisville. With the addition of Chicago and Louisville in the 2016 campaign, results showed an impressive 278% increase in website traffic, from targeted out-of-state markets, year over year.

Honest-to-Goodness on the web

While VisitIndiana.com was already a robust site full of trip ideas, festivals and events, discounts and plenty of things to do, we needed to incorporate the voice and look of the new Honest-to-Goodness Indiana campaign. The online work included the full website, special seasonal landing pages, email newsletters and display ads. 


Our Responsibilities: Branding, Campaign Strategy, Concept Development, Content Strategy, Copywriting, Creative Services, Design, Email Design, Email HTML, Logo Development, Media Buying, Media Planning, Radio Concept Development, Radio Production, Responsive Website Design, Strategy, TV Concept Development, TV Production, Website Architecture, Website Design

Client: Visit Indiana

Industry: Travel/Tourism/CVB