RACVB: Hideaway in Rockford Viral Campaign

Hideaway In Rockford was created in 2011 to capitalize on Wisconsin Democratic state senators’ much-publicized escape to Rockford as they battled Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union agenda. Tactics included the ASAP creation of a campaign name, theme, brand identity, website, social elements and a series of viral videos.

The campaign was  promoted primarily via earned and social media. Almost immediately upon launch, the first video was viewed more than 100,000 times and national news agencies, comedy shows (including Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show) and bloggers around the world ran major pieces on Hideaway In Rockford’s humorous takes on Wisconsin politics – and Rockford’s hutzpah and visitor attractions.

Conservative political blogger Michelle Malkin called Hideaway in Rockford, “the best tourism campaign ever,” as did Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who praised the campaign at an assembly of Wisconsin Destination Marketing Executives in 2012.

The fan-favorite third movie featured cameo appearances by Governor Scott Walker, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey, state of Illinois Senator David Syverson and former United States President George Bush.