The Chickasaw Nation is the thirteenth largest federally-recognized native American tribe in the United States. The tribe enjoys a thriving, vibrant culture rooted in its rich heritage.
Their 7,600 square mile territory in south-central Oklahoma features many recreational and tourism attractions, highlighted by the new Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, the fifth largest casino in the world (along with 17 other casinos and gaming centers), theaters, golf courses, campgrounds and RV parks. While each of these attractions achieved modest annual attendance, there was no unified promotion of the region as a tourism destination to attract travelers.
The tribe’s challenge was to create a compelling, recognizable identity and communication system that would help people understand the wide range of tourism possibilities in the Chickasaw Nation, and make them want to visit.
Chart the Course
The Chickasaw Nation selected the Wanderlust team to create a campaign to promote southern Oklahoma as an international tourist destination. The project included conducting market and consumer research, defining a unique brand position, designing an identity and developing an ongoing marketing communications strategy.
Bill Anoatubby, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, felt the project would benefit tourists, the tribe and the state. “Tourism is an important part of Oklahoma’s economy and we believe this campaign will provide tremendous economic benefits for the Chickasaw Nation and the state of Oklahoma.” It was clear that the Chickasaw had tourism attractions and a presence in the region. But there was no unifying theme or identity that helped create desire for the region, or would help individual locations cross-promote and share visitors to everyone’s gain.
Wanderlust’s mission was to mark the territory, package the experience for prospective travelers, build awareness and help fill in the gaps that kept travelers from experiencing more than one or two of the territory’s many attractions.
Leveraging the tribe’s rapid economic growth, their leadership has added first-class attractions and amenities to attract tourism and international travelers. Our positioning recognizes the tribe’s deliberate development strategy and their desire to be a world-class travel destination: “where recreation is done right.”
The line, “A million ways to play” refers to the region's many recreational opportunities, and the tribe’s pride in its growing list of tourism attractions. The graphic identity reflects the cultural aesthetic of the tribe, their lands, their arts and crafts.
The communication strategy is built around the idea of “road trips;” short one- to three-day driving adventures that link multiple tourism assets throughout the Chickasaw Country. Imagery and messaging highlight the variety of recreational opportunities and natural beauty of the region, the tribe’s hospitality, and the excitement and authenticity of the experience.