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The DeSoto County Visitors Center, located next to the Landers Center in Southaven, is home to DeSoto County Tourism, the county’s tourism promotion arm. It was named the Best of Show at the recent American Advertising Awards in Memphis.  

Living in the shadow of all of what is found north of the state line in Memphis, DeSoto County Tourism officials know they have to work hard and be creative in how they can get Mid-South visitors to spend some time in the county during their visits to the region. 

That hard work and creativity in the message has apparently been recognized by those who know effective and superior ways to spread a message.

DeSoto County Tourism has been honored for its “South of the Ordinary” advertising campaign at the American Advertising Awards event held earlier this month in Memphis. In addition, the campaign received 12 awards, nine Gold and three Silver Awards, achieved in different categories.

Those awards were topped off in the recognition of the campaign being named, “Best of Show.

DeSoto County Tourism partnered with Sullivan Branding of Memphis, which came up with the “South of the Ordinary” campaign, a statement to the county’s location and its unique tourism offerings.

You will see the statement on the DeSoto County Tourism website, visitdesotocounty.com, and on promotional materials about events and attractions to see in DeSoto County.

“Our many offerings are not always top of mind to regional tourists,” said DeSoto County Tourism executive director Kim Terrell. “The goal of the campaign was two-fold: to highlight the many great attractions within DeSoto County and to inform tourists and the locals of the unique experience to be had in our area. We feel it has been quite successful.”

Three Gold Awards were earned for magazine advertisements of a full page or less, five were for advertising spreads or larger units, and one was for the “South of the Ordinary” photography campaign.

Three separate Silver Awards were given in the same areas.

“Working with clients like DeSoto County Tourism is always enjoyable,” said Sullivan Branding executive creative director and partner Keith Goldberg. “Kim and the DeSoto County Convention and Visitors Bureau provided a level of strategy and forethought to the project that really helped us to bring the story to life.”

“This demonstrates our commitment to creating and promoting an elevated tourist experience here in DeSoto County,” Terrell added.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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