Case studies/ Choose Chicago

Extending the signal across the midwest and beyond

Choose Chicago
Client details Services

Broad appeal for the City of the Big Shoulders

Choose Chicago — the destination marketing organization of Chicago — was in need of some thoughtful, well-targeted digital marketing. They wanted to reach a new audience that appreciates the overflowing arts, culture, architecture and food of a city that’s never shed its Midwestern charm or eagerness to share in its treasures. With tight deadlines and new methods for reaching the right audience, the team at Choose Chicago looked to Envisionit for an innovative digital approach that could keep people flowing into the city.

Choose Chicago Featured

The approach

But first, a word from our sponsors

An opportunity to prove our digital mettle appeared as we ramped up work. Chi-Town Rising — Chicago’s New Year Celebration — was fast approaching, and Choose Chicago wanted a :30 TV spot for the occasion. With only four weeks, they needed a partner who could act fast and thoughtfully.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program

Our next engagement with Choose Chicago allowed us to dive deeper into the strategy behind the tactics. Helpful organic social insights and transparent reporting set the partnership on track. With trust built, we moved forward with bigger ideas across more media — including programmatic, partner direct, paid search, paid social, video, and OOH. We were firing on all cylinders and forging ahead.


“Our capabilities matched exceptionally well with Choose Chicago and their goals and KPIs. We have been able to provide a well thought-out national execution, and have continually tested and retargeted to identify the ideal travel audience. It helps that we’re all faithful Chicagoans, too!”

Nicole Brown Nicole BrownAccount Director, Envisionit

The work

We’re putting the band back together

We examined Choose Chicago’s currently running media and strategy — untargeted static ads hosted on a single provider — and immediately expanded to include designated market areas (DMAs) across the country. We cast a wide net, and then recast our net wherever we had success in both digital marketing and paid search. And we collaborated with all partners, holding weekly status meetings to ensure that everyone’s goals were aligned.

Chicago Theatre

The national stage

Bringing the campaign to a national audience revealed audiences Choose Chicago had never considered nor reached.

The National Stage

It’s showtime, folks!

Choose Chicago wanted to promote a few different parts of the city — our thriving theatre community and the fantastic leisure industry — so we optimized and targeted appropriately. In our leisure campaign, we found more success with a psychographic approach. So we shifted our resources appropriately.

Welcoming all

We brainstormed and came up with an inclusive new concept for the TV spot “You’re Welcome.” We shot and edited the spot two weeks before the holidays, and it ran on New Year’s Eve as planned.


Hey, hey, what do you say — Chicago’s gonna win today

In 2017, Chicago won some pretty big awards, with a little help from the Welcome Home campaign.  Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards named Chicago as the Best Big City in the U.S., Bon Appetit awarded Chicago the Restaurant City of the Year, and TimeOut London named us the World’s Best City. Even the Welcome Home campaign won an award — the Best Marketing Campaign award during the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism.

Choose Chicago winning award

The results

The campaign that works

Our segmentation and targeting yielded some incredible results. All paid search campaigns blew past both industry and our own benchmarks. The theatre campaign alone served over 38 million impressions, and the click through rate was nearly 6 times the benchmark. Our shift from a demographic strategy to a psychographic strategy for the leisure campaign saw some fantastic results, as well. Nationwide, it made 76 million impressions, resulting in 3,100 website conversions.