By David Bates • Staff Writer • 

MDA launches ambitious tourism campaign

“We’ve had people come into our office specifically because of that,” said Cassie Sollars, manager of the McMinnville Downtown Association.

The MDA plans to capitalize with an $80,000 branding campaign. It will rely on print and social media to spread the word about McMinnville’s bustling food and wine scene.

The effort is funded through a city lodging tax recently enacted by the McMinnville City Council. A local marketing and branding firm, Creative Company, won the contract via competitive bidding process.

Sollars said the firm includes a staffer who worked on a similar project in the Seattle area, so it should be a good fit.

The campaign will include nearly 60,000 rack cards, to be distributed in hundreds of locations around the state, including Portland. Posters, coasters and window displays will also be part of the mix.

More than two-dozen print ads will be published in ten high-profile magazines with a combined circulation of more than 1.2 million. The advertising will target “high-income, highly educated and generally baby boomer audiences” with the means and inclination to travel in search of the best food and wine.

The campaign will hammer on the theme of what can be found in “14 strollable blocks” in downtown McMinnville — to wit, 34 restaurants, 17 tasting rooms and seven tap rooms and breweries.

Social media will allow customers to spread the word to like-minded foodies and wine aficionados themselves, via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, using social memes like BrewMac, StrollMac and WineMac. If you’re on Twitter, for example, you’d throw the hashtag sign “#” in front of those, and your comment would appear with similarly flagged tweets.

The campaign has been dubbed TasteMac, which also serves as one of the memes. Additional information on it can be found at .

It is slated to formally kick off at 5:30 this evening with a launch party on the patio at The Barberry, on the ground floor of the new KAOS building at 654 N.E. Third St. For more information, call 503-472-3605. 

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