Germans Have More Fun

Pioneering Story

New Ulm, Minnesota is an historic example of German-American small-town heritage, with a wide variety of activities and attractions that exude both old-world charm and hipster cred. From brewery tours to fine dining and wine-tastings to baseball games, New Ulm is redefining perceptions about small-town Minnesota.

Challenge

While the city has long been a popular destination for special events and day trips, the New Ulm Convention and Visitors Bureau wanted to attract more weekend travelers and overnight visitors, while portraying the town as a fun, welcoming place with activities for an extended stay.

Solution

The New Ulm Convention and Visitors Bureau turned to Haberman in 2012 for an integrated creative campaign designed to build positive buzz about travel to New Ulm and convert interest into action by putting “heads in beds.” The Haberman strategy played to New Ulm’s strengths: capitalizing on the town’s German identity while courting a younger (and cooler) visitor than similar Minnesota destinations. The resulting engagement initiative featured interactive and digital experiences, event marketing, social media promotions and multimedia storytelling.

Haberman created “Germans Have More Fun,” a humorous integrated marketing campaign using a bobblehead version of New Ulm’s unofficial Ambassador of Fun – a mammoth bronze statue of a Teutonic warrior nicknamed “Hermann the German” – to represent the town’s brand personality.

Results

While the campaign is in its early stages, consumers have responded positively to the campaign. In fact, some even drove straight to New Ulm after their first encounter with Hermann. The Convention and Visitors Bureau reports a steady stream of inquiries and bookings for the city’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, and many visitors have mentioned the campaign to business owners.

  • Haberman redesigned New Ulm’s visual identity to better reflect the city’s German heritage and act as an iconic brand beacon that tourists would instantly recognize.
  • Haberman launched the “Germans Have More Fun” website, immediately garnering thousands of unique visitors.
  • Haberman created branded videos, appealing to target audiences with the “Germans Have More Fun” theme. Thousands of online visitors viewed the videos in the first two weeks of the campaign.
  • Haberman built social media portals on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to foster greater audience engagement with the campaign. These sites yielded hundreds of new followers upon launch.
  • Haberman hosted a “Dance Shanty” experience at a St. Paul Saints minor-league baseball game. Celebrating the theme “Germans Have More Fun,” hundreds of spectators participated in activities, snapped photos and donned New Ulm-branded t-shirts at the event.

Engagement

Haberman designed the New Ulm identity to be a striking representation of old-world iconography.

Campaign Site
Haberman created a new website and robust online experience to promote New Ulm’s ”Germans Have More Fun” campaign.

Hermann the German Presents
Haberman created a video starring a “bobblehead” version of Hermann the German, enumerating the ways that Germans Have More Fun in New Ulm.

Social Engagment
Haberman leveraged social media channels to engage prospective visitors with the “Germans Have More Fun” campaign.

Event Promotion
Haberman created a unique and high-impact grassroots-marketing event that included a “Dance Shanty” experience; merchandise giveaways and social media sharing opportunities at a St. Paul Saints minor-league baseball game.