Super Bowl ad leads to new campaign for the city of Winona

Kellen Brandt, Feature Reporter

Mr. Peanut, Doritos, Google and Winona. All of these have the 2020 Super Bowl in common. It’s not every day Winona is viewed by millions, so when it is, the town of Winona is abuzz.     

In response to Squarespace’s ad featuring Winona Ryder and Winona, MN for the Super Bowl, Visit Winona made a Squarespace page of their own called “Welcome to the Rest of Winona” that shows off a bit more of Winona’s character.

Executive director for Visit Winona, Pat Mutter, said Visit Winona wanted to provide a fun and playful way to get in on the commercial and show off the rest of Winona.

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity for Winona to appear in the Super Bowl and we know that this actress is beloved. I mean she is such a name and she’s been associated with this town and we have been very happy because we’ve always said, ‘wouldn’t it be fun to get Winona back to Winona?’ and here it was, it happened,” Mutter said.

Visit Winona works to market and promote Winona as a travel destination, so the opportunity to let everyone see all of Winona is important to them.

“We thought it would be fun to be able to showcase Winona in all its beauty and different facets that the actual ad wouldn’t be able to do,” Mutter said.

As a part of Visit Winona’s new page, they also started a photography campaign that allows people to show off what their personal Winona looks like.

“We wanted a very playful response and how do we not just Visit Winona as a town, but other people who know Winona to be able to participate in this very fun, playful way that could help people to spread the word and get to know Winona,” Mutter said.

To have a photograph considered for the book anyone can use the hashtag #welcometowinona on their photo and tag @VisitWinona on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

“We are showcasing a hashtag campaign where people could put their own version of what they would deem true Winona and share their photograph on that same Welcome to Winona website,” Mutter said.

Once all the photos are in, Visit Winona is creating a photobook that contains pictures of Winona, much like Winona Ryders photobook.

“Many of the pictures will be internal pictures that we have gathered through the years, doing what we do to market Winona, but we will also include photographs by photographers and social media followers,” Mutter said.

All of the proceeds from the photobook will be going to a currently undecided local initiative in Winona.

Mutter encourages students, staff, faculty and everyone else in Winona to participate in this opportunity and have the chance to not only show off the true Winona, but to also have a piece of everyone’s personal Winona in the photobook.

“We would love for the students at WSU to jump in on this and participate. We know that many students are out and about taking pictures on their phones all the time, and we would love to have students participate and share what they love about Winona,” Mutter said.

Sydney Bennett, junior social work major and Spanish minor, plans to submit a couple of her pictures of Winona for a chance to be in the photobook.

“I’m not really much of a photographer, all I have is my phone but for me, it’s not really how good the picture is, it’s just showing off the Winona that I know and love,” Bennett said.

Visit Winona does not have specific categories for their images. Any photo of anything, person or place will be considered to be a part of the book.

“We understand, you know, different people think about Winona differently and whether it’s attractions here, or places they love or activities like biking or hiking or enjoying ice skating at the lake, or people or places they want to go eat, so we didn’t designate categories. We just know that there are so many facets to Winona that we just wanted to open that for people to see this, you know, ‘My Winona’,” Mutter said.

Bennett was disappointed to see how little of Winona was shown in the Super Bowl ad and explained how excited she was to get to show off so much more of Winona.

“Winona was hardly in Winona, so seeing the other new page filled with Winona’s nature, diversity and just everything that Winona actually has to offer is so cool,” Bennett said, “I don’t even care if my pictures get selected because you know, I’m happy to show my family back home what Winona really is.”

Both websites have created a new sense of pride in Winona and put this little town on a much bigger map after being featured in the Super Bowl.

“And that’s what this campaign is about, it’s that people just get to show what they know or love or like about Winona and get to talk about it and share in the fun in this very exciting opportunity,” Mutter said.

 

The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.