Goat hiking, spoon carving, wine tasting.

Pat’s Country House Grocery, Pecatonica Brewing Company, historic Main Street.

These are just a few of the original experiences, locally owned businesses, and attractions awaiting in Galena, IL. Sounds damn charming, doesn’t it?

More on that in a bit.

Getting to know Galena Country

Hit the road about three hours northwest of Chicago and you’ll arrive in Galena Country—officially Jo Daviess County—made up of 11 small towns. The largest is Galena, a 19th century boomtown once home to President Ulysses S. Grant. Nestled in the rolling hills near the Mississippi River, this historic town has more than half of its buildings included in a National Register Historic District.

While Galena is steeped in history and, in many ways, feels frozen in time, it’s by no means stuck in the past. Today, Galena is chock-full of breweries, boutiques, and delicious dining. Downtown and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of original experiences perfect for a weekend getaway that’s both accessible yet totally out of the ordinary.

But while it’s full of uniqueness and character, Galena Country faced some awareness challenges. With the goal of becoming the second-best leisure destination in Illinois and one of the best small-town experiences in the U.S., Galena Country needed a fresh creative and media strategy. That’s where we come in.

The challenge

While popular amongst older generations, Galena knew it needed to address its aging visitor demographic and dated perception as a place where you can only experience the past. Spikes in summer travel and severe dips in the off-season also needed attention, along with a targeting strategy in line with the fact that Galena’s family offering isn’t competitive with other nearby destinations.

To tackle these challenges and to showcase the many unique activities available in Galena, we needed a flexible framework that focused on a highly ownable selling point.

The strategy

Utilizing our insight that the experiences available in Galena are best suited for kid-free travelers, we zeroed in on an approach that would appeal to both city dwellers looking for an escape, and parents longing for a grown-up getaway and a change of pace from the usual hectic family trip.

To introduce (and reintroduce) Galena to the right audience at the right time, we split our targeting and messaging into three unique mindsets:

  • Those in the know, but primed to evolve
  • New markets
  • Markets where parents are typically on family trips with their kids, dreaming about a peaceful getaway

And that ownable selling point? Throughout our discovery process, one word kept coming up. In fact, this word was buried within Galena’s brand guidelines and often mentioned within articles about Galena. It was uttered constantly throughout our first collective trip to Galena and quickly encapsulates the essence and appeal of a small-town getaway.

That word? “Charming”, of course.

The concept

Our campaign, “Welcome to Charming” is an invitation and proclamation that the perfect escape is just a short drive away. “Charming” perfectly captures every offering in Galena Country, from shopping on chain-free Main Street to antique tractor rides on a farm in nearby Elizabeth, IL.

“Charming” is also flexible, ownable, relevant in every season, and embodies a feeling that our audience craves.

Using bright colors, tongue-in-cheek copy, and vibrant photography featuring blissful travelers within our target demographic, our creative speaks directly to our audience and clearly juxtaposes Galena Country to the hustle and bustle of city life and the hectic feeling that often comes with family travel.


To bring this campaign to life, we leveraged ad units across various social channels, programmatic units through Epsilon, built engaging videos with Kerv, and worked with content partners like Thrillist to tell a refreshed and highly relevant story for Galena Country.

The results

Our targeted approach has led to click-through-rates well above industry averages across Meta and Pinterest, reaching as high as 2.3% against an industry benchmark of .9%.

Through interactive video units, we’ve sparked strong interest with our audience while driving significant lift to campaign performance:

  • 32.59 seconds average time on site (benchmark 19.3)
  • 11.44% interaction rate (benchmark 1.0%)
  • 3.04% CTR (benchmark 0.5%)

“We are very pleased with the work that Envisionit delivers. Their creativity, attention to detail, and collaborative approach are exceptional. They craft engaging campaigns that capture the essence of our brand, and their data-driven decision-making helps optimize our efforts for maximum impact.”

Kirsten Bell, Strategic Marketing Director, Galena Country Tourism

Our on-page optimizations and enriched search presence have already generated an uptick of 14% in organic sessions, a 10% increase in new users, and a 17.5% increase in engaged sessions.

And that’s just the first three months.

Up next? Buzzworthy out-of-home placements, engaging (and very charming) brand activations, and seasonal-specific campaigns to help drive incremental visitation.

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