Columbia to launch new marketing campaign

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COLUMBIA – The city wants travelers to consider Columbia as more than just a city to pass through. The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau wants people to make Columbia their travel destination.

Every two and a half to three years the bureau is tasked with renewing their marketing campaign for the city. This year the campaign is taking a new local angle and featuring seven local business owners and residents of Columbia.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau Strategic Communications Director, Megan McConachie, said the local angle will shine a light on friendly faces of Columbia that hopefully other people can relate to.

“The thing with tourism is you know, when you’re planning a vacation, you’re planning to go to a destination you kind of want to feel like the people who are there are going to be welcoming,” McConachie said. "They’re the kind of people who could be your friends. So, we wanted to introduce all of our potential visitors to actual people who live here in Columbia.”

Nickie Davis, a local business owner who is featured in the campaign, called the local focus ‘genius.’

“I think it’s amazing and I think it’s something that should've been captured a long time ago and hopefully will continue to be captured because the people who live here and choose to live here are the ones that know all of the fun little things,” Davis said.

Other residents included in the campaign are: 

  • Jesse and Heather Garcia, owners of The Social Room, The Penguin and Absolute Vintage
  • Kyle Cook, co-owner of Hitt Records
  • Kenny Greene, owner of Monarch Jewelry, involved in north village arts district
  • Jina Yoo, Jina Yoo's Asian Bistro owner
  • Akira Yasuda, avid cyclist and biomedical research engineer in Columbia

Davis said she enjoyed her experience being a part of the campaign. 

“I had a lot of fun and I think they kept it as local as possible too within their hiring crews so it was a really cool experience and thing to watch grow and see the finished product in the end of it," Davis said. 

The campaign costs $250,000 and will include a couple billboards along I-70, four feature-length videos of the residents and print and digital ads. 

The campaign will launch on Sunday.