COLUMBUS – For the first time, Experience Columbus has received the highest level of recognition among destination marketing organizations. The LIFEINCBUS campaign was named the winner of the 2015 Destiny Award by the U.S. Travel Association at its annual conference, Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO).

The Destiny Awards recognize excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing and promotion at the local and regional level. They also highlight campaigns that foster the development of imaginative and innovative destination marketing promotion programs and activities. LIFEINCBUS won the award for top marketing campaign in its budget category.

“It’s a big honor that the U.S. Travel Association awarded LIFEINCBUS as a top campaign of the year,” said Amy Tillinghast, Experience Columbus vice president of marketing. “We’re extremely pleased with the campaign’s success and are proud that it’s being recognized by destination marketing leaders.”

Experience Columbus worked with Fahlgren Mortine to develop the image campaign, which is in its second year in two key target markets, Chicago and Washington D.C. The objective of the campaign is to begin building awareness of all Columbus offers for living, working and playing in the minds of “young transitionals,” those ages 25 to 35 and the most likely to relocate within the next three to five years.

 “We know that this is a difficult audience to reach, so we built the campaign in a way that intersects with where they spend a lot of their day – on the daily commute and via online ads and social media – and gains their attention, trust and engagement. Through compelling photos and video, we’re giving ‘young transitionals’ an invitation to explore Columbus, which has resulted in a campaign that’s exceeded industry performance benchmarks and caught the attention of the target audience,” said Tillinghast.

Since the campaign’s launch in spring 2014, it’s received local and regional awards and national media coverage.


Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending that is generated by conventions, meetings, trade shows and leisure visitors.  Annually, visitors make more than 37.9 million trips to Greater Columbus, generating $8.7 billion in economic impact and supporting more than 71,000 jobs. For more information, visit