Travel Oregon Invites Travelers to 'Take the Oregon 150 Challenge'

Marketing campaign promotes sesquicentennial to stimulate tourism

Travel Oregon has launched a special travel promotion geared to address current economic conditions by stimulating immediate demand for spring and summer travel.

The campaign, called "The Oregon 150 Challenge,", is the signature tourism event for Oregon 150 ( It leverages the year-long celebration of Oregon's sesquicentennial to motivate travel by encouraging consumers to "rediscover" Oregon as a destination.

"In the spirit of Oregon's 150th birthday, 'The Oregon 150 Challenge' campaign is part of the intensive state effort to help tourism grow and thrive, which is good for all sectors of Oregon's economy," said Governor Kulongoski. "When we promote Oregon, we do more than invite people to visit our many beautiful tourist attractions--we bring them face to face with Oregon's people, our towns and cities, and our vibrant business scene," he said.

As the call to action for the campaign, "Take the Oregon 150 Challenge" is a web-based contest designed to inspire travelers to explore every corner of the state. Once logged in, visitors can browse and create trips across five categories (Events, Outdoors, Food/Drink, Attractions and You Pick). By "proving" they have experienced all five categories in at least two regions-by uploading a photo, posting a story about the experience or otherwise verifying completion-participants will be entered to win one of seven grand prize tours of Oregon. They have until Sept. 30, 2009 to complete The Challenge to be eligible to win.

The Governor will personally acknowledge successful completion of The Challenge with a congratulatory email. And for those who found the contest put them "in a distinctly Oregon state of mind," the Governor will offer an "Official Certificate" signed by him, declaring the participant to be a "Certified Oregonian."

An avid Oregon traveler himself, Governor Kulongoski supplied the campaign with some of his favorite places to visit and things to do. These travel ideas will be featured on The Oregon 150 Challenge website, along with travel deals from across the state, including special packages and values offered by Oregon's myriad lodging properties and attractions.

"Travelers are more budget-conscious than ever, modifying vacations and traveling closer to home," said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon's CEO. "It's an opportune time to promote Oregon as a destination to those who appreciate her best: Oregonians themselves, and visitors from nearby states. With this campaign, Travel Oregon invites travelers to experience all the enriching destinations available close to home," he said.

The Oregon 150 Challenge website will be supported by a multi-media advertising campaign targeting Seattle, Spokane, Sacramento and Oregon. A television spot produced by Portland ad agency, Wieden+Kennedy, will air within local news and lifestyle programs on channels throughout Oregon, beginning in May. Out-of-state advertising-radio ads plus online banner ads on top travel websites-will run May through June during highest-traffic booking days/times and in media closest to consumers' point of travel planning and purchase. Other advertising includes search engine keyword search, magazine print ads, and an Oregon DMV direct mail stuffer sent with vehicle registration notices April through September.

Travel Oregon worked closely with the Oregon 150 team to develop and execute The Oregon 150 Challenge. Wieden+Kennedy developed the website and advertising campaign. Oregon's regional destination marketing organizations provided package deals and discounts to add travel incentives.

"Whether you've been here for a day and just started to discover the beauty, heritage, and cultural gems of the state, or you've been here your entire life, we want to encourage people to build a sense of community and pride in our state by traveling to visit Oregon neighbors near and far," said Oregon 150 Executive Director, Melisa McDonald.


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