Nebraska Tourism campaign recognized nationally as best


Grant Rohan

The Nebraska Tourism Commission developed the slogan “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” Photo courtesy of

The Nebraska Tourism Commission (NTC) was recently awarded for their work on the new “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone” campaign.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, Nebraska Tourism received a 2019 Mercury Award at the Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO,) in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association. The Cornhusker State’s campaign, “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone,” took home the award for Best Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign, at the event in Austin, Texas.

“I can’t remember a time when Nebraska won an award at ESTO. The congratulations we received from industry partners and colleagues was unbelievable,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director. “This is an honor and a big deal for the state of Nebraska.”

NTC was also a finalist in the Public Relations Campaign category for the “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone,” campaign, which went viral when announced last October. The initial announcement brought in over $7.1 million in publicity value after capturing the attention of national media, including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “LIVE with Kelly and Ryan,” Forbes, CNN and the Washington Post.

The Mercury Awards give recognition to organizations for creative achievements in destination marketing and their promotional programs. The NTC was recognized as nationally best because “the judges felt that the honest, authentic approach to positioning is admirable. Print and static assets are intriguing and well-executed. Nebraska worked with tight budget constraints and drove admirable results.”

Visit Omaha also received a Destinations Council Destiny Award in the Printed Collateral Materials category at ESTO. Their custom mailer, sent to trade show attendees before the show, helped generate more traffic to the Visit Omaha booth, allowing them to interact with more meeting planners than ever before

“Having our partners at Visit Omaha also recognized is fantastic – it was a great night for Nebraska,” said Ricks.