Pinedale’s ‘Real Wyoming’ campaign lures potential visitors

PINEDALE – More than 125,000 potential visitors have browsed the website since a marketing firm that works with the Pinedale Travel and Tourism Commission (PTTC) began a new campaign that includes an emphasis on Pinedale as “The Real Wyoming.”

Jesse Ryan of New Thought Digital Agency, the firm that has been working with the PTTC over the past year and a half, told the Pinedale Town Council on Monday that the new campaign is a follow-up to last winter’s successful “Sled the Winds” campaign. That effort, which emphasized world-class snowmobiling, lasted from about November 2016 to March 2017.

The new campaign began in July and will wrap up in November as the winter campaign begins again. It relied on a variety of means such as digital and social media, email newsletters and a “targeted influencer program” that reached out to media such as Big Life, True West, Teton Gravity Research and travel blogs.

The effort targeted a demographic of people from the surrounding region who would likely drive to Pinedale rather than fly.

“A lot of the traffic that we are aiming for is people who are going to drive into Pinedale from regional markets, regional driving destinations like Salt Lake City, Denver, other places in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana,” Ryan said.

The campaign also invented a catchy slogan.

“The concept of ‘the real Wyoming’ came to us early this spring when we were trying to think of a way to position the Pinedale market to be competitive with other travel destinations in Wyoming, namely Jackson Hole,” Ryan said.

Ryan Hittner, the creative director for New Thought Digital Agency, added that a big advantage of “The Real Wyoming” is that it is easy to switch out parts of the slogan to emphasize Pinedale as The Real Wilderness, The Real West, home to The Real Mountain Men and The Real Outdoorsmen.

“It speaks to that type of person who is looking for that experience, the authentic western experience that you guys can offer here,” Hittner said.

Town council member Matt Murdock said it wasn’t the only idea tossed around this spring.

“Our original idea was to put a sign on the road to Jackson, ‘No vacancy.’ I think ‘The Real Wyoming’ works better,” Murdock said.

Murdock said the idea was seriously discussed, but dismissed because of the possibility that it could be perceived as negative in Jackson.

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