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New Minneapolis tourism campaign takes edgy approach to bring more travelers to the city

The campaign is titled “See What All the Fuss Is About” which Meet Minneapolis says is a reference to all the negative ‘fussing about Minneapolis’ on social media.

MINNEAPOLIS — On Monday, Meet Minneapolis announced a new advertising campaign to boost tourism in the city.

The campaign is titled “See What All the Fuss Is About” which Meet Minneapolis says is a reference to all the negative ‘fussing about Minneapolis’ on social media.

They're trying to combat a pervasive narrative on social media, with some people believing Minneapolis is an unsafe ‘ghost town’ that doesn't have anything left to offer.

Leaders at Meet Minneapolis say their goal with the campaign is to flip that negativity on its head and to challenge people to consider the good features the city has to offer.

“We know people have had a lot of conversations around Minneapolis and we want to showcase some of this commentary and have them think about it in a different way,” Courtney Ries says.

Ries is the Senior Vice President of Destination Branding and Strategy at Meet Minneapolis.

She and her team came up with this campaign as a way to combat some of the negative messages and comments people have been sharing about Minneapolis.

“We know that Minneapolis has had its share of challenges over the last three years. We are not ignoring the murdering of George Floyd, or the social unrest, or the lingering impacts of COVID, but we can both work as a community to make things better and celebrate the things that we have here,” Ries explains.

The $850,000 campaign will include billboards, TV commercials, and various advertisements on websites and social media.

Ries says they are taking a more edgy approach with their ads to grab people’s attention and to challenge the negative narrative that is being shared on social media.

“So much of advertising is you see it and say ‘oh, that’s nice’ and then you forget about it. We really wanted to take that record scratch moment and have someone look at it and say ‘huh, I see what you did there,’” Ries explains.

For example, one of the campaign’s billboards features a close-up picture of desserts with wording that says “Desserted, but not like you think.”

Another billboard features a picture of empty cocktail glasses with words that read “Empty, but not like Twitter says.”

“We'd rather have someone say they love it or hate it than have them say it's nice and forget about it,” Ries says.

Twin Cities residents likely won’t see the billboards and advertisements unless they travel outside of the metro.

Ries says the campaign is targeting communities that are 15 to 300 miles away, including Fargo, Duluth, Rochester, Wisconsin, and Greater Minnesota.

"This is the largest campaign that we have had to attract leisure consumers in at least the last ten years. For this campaign, we actually dipped into our reserve funding. Our board authorized this opportunity for us to be able to have this larger push so we can get some folks to come into town,” Ries says.

To learn more about the “Come See What the Fuss is About” campaign click here.

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