Apr 26, 2022 - News

New ad seeks to entice Ohio tourism with perfect road trip

Actors in an Ohio promotional ad are seen taking a selfie at the Scioto River in Columbus.

A screenshot from the latest Ohio tourism advertisement, courtesy the Ohio Department of Development.

A student is walking across Ohio University's campus when she spots a welcome surprise: Grandma, with a cloying grin, beckoning her for a spontaneous road trip.

  • Off they go on a whirlwind weekend tour that would make Ferris Bueller jealous ⁠— biking in Cleveland, hiking in Yellow Springs and paddling down the Scioto River.
  • The two even contemplate matching tattoos from Evolved Body Art on North High Street.

What's happening: Ohio is showcasing that impromptu journey and other Buckeye State experiences as part of its "Find It Here" tourism campaign.

  • The state plans to invest $8 million in TV, radio and digital ads across Ohio and its five neighboring states.

Why it matters: Ohio tourism typically generates tens of billions of dollars in visitor spending each year, per the state's department of development, but that figure took a major hit during the pandemic.

  • With travel on the rise again and summer approaching, Ohio wants Midwesterners to choose our cities, amusement parks and trails.

The big picture: Ohio's been on a major self-promotion kick in recent years, between this and the ongoing attempts to convince coastal residents and businesses to relocate here.

Our take: While those "Ohio is for Leaders" billboards are a bit cringey, this advertisement feels more heartfelt and effective. Who doesn't want to skip homework and ride roller coasters instead?

  • Montage music from the Columbus folk band Caamp is a nice touch.

🤔 This ad got us thinking … what would a Central Ohio-centric promo look like?

  • We envision a family enjoying the boisterous Nordecke section at a Crew game, taking a stroll through the Columbus Arts Festival and feeding giraffes at the zoo's Heart of Africa exhibit.
  • Then finishing off the day with a cold drink at Edison Brewing Company, watching planes take off and land from the hilltop patio. Now that's a day worth skipping class for.

📬 What would your Ohio advertisement look like? Email [email protected] with your ideas.

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