Travel Wisconsin Unveils New Summer Ad Campaign

Posted on: 3/16/2018

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Tourism unveiled its new ad campaign today, showing once again that real Wisconsin fun continues to be the state’s top selling point. The campaign includes two unique TV commercials – one featuring wheelchair basketball star and Paralympic gold medalist Matt Scott enjoying some of his favorite things to do in Wisconsin, and the other putting the spotlight on Gemütlichkeit, a German word that describes the spirit of Wisconsin and the state’s innate ability to give travelers a sense of belonging, friendship and cheer. The ads debuted to approximately 1,000 people from the state’s tourism industry at the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Appleton.

The new commercials featuring Gemütlichkeit and Matt Scott are available to download in high resolution and can also be found on the Travel Wisconsin YouTube page.

“Focusing our advertising efforts on what Wisconsin is best known for — fun — has proven to be a winning strategy,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “While the TV spots are distinct, one thing rings true in both — Wisconsin welcomes visitors to experience fun in the state.”

Gemütlichkeit is used to convey feelings of warmth, friendship, good cheer and a sense of belonging. While German in origin, Gemütlichkeit goes beyond lederhosen and Oktoberfests, and the TV spot captures this unique sense of Wisconsin camaraderie and fun travelers can have when visiting the state.

Originally from Detroit, Scott was born with spina bifida, which left him unable to use his legs. He began playing wheelchair basketball at 14 and was recruited by one of the best collegiate wheelchair programs in the country at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He’s a four-time Paralympian, winning a bronze and gold medal during the London and Rio Games. He was one of the faces of Nike’s famous “Just Do It” commercials. An avid traveler, Scott finds fun everywhere he goes, including his frequent visits to Wisconsin. This sentiment is captured in the commercial’s message that there are a million ways to have fun in Wisconsin, and no reason not to.

“Wisconsin feels like home and is extremely welcoming,” said Scott. “Wisconsinites are super considerate people, not just to people with disabilities.”

The ad featuring Matt Scott is scheduled to begin running in March during the NCAA March Madness Tournament. The Gemütlichkeit ad will begin running in May. The summer campaign also includes radio spots, out-of-home, print ads, digital and social media, and public relations. It will run in key Midwest markets, such as Chicago, the Twin Cities, St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism received 21 awards for marketing and public relations excellence, for a total of 104 awards since 2011. Tourism had a $20 billion impact on the state's economy in 2016. The total six-year growth of tourism activity is up more than $5.2 billion, a 35 percent increase. Economic impact figures for 2017 will be available in early May.

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at