FCB agency for Choose Chicago, city’s tourism arm

FCB was the agency choice of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism arm, to promote the city as a tourist destination throughout the world. Starcom USA will handle media planning. 

FCB topped other finalists Leo Burnett and Magnani for the estimated $3 to $4 million account, which doesn’t include the invaluable prestige associated with business. 

“This is a humbling opportunity to make an accurate impact on Chicago, said FCB Chicago CEO/president Michael Fassnacht,

Starting this fall, FCB will create campaigns that “significantly increase leisure and business travel” to the city, Choose Chicago said.

The organization is in the middle of a major rebranding effort under new chief marketing officer Shana Lee and one of its first assignments will be to replace its current “Second to None” slogan.

Choose Chicago is also focused on increasing foreign visitors as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s overall mandate to boost annual visitors to 55 million by 2020. Chicago attracted 46.2 million visitors in 2012, the last year for which figures are available.

Towards that end, Choose Chicago said it had looked for agencies that could also handle global duties, a qualification FCB certainly offered. Currently, FCB is the agency for Hong Kong tourism, and in the past, the original FCB represented North Korea, the UK and Germany tourism.

Closer to home, in 1994, FCB landed the $12 Illinois Tourism account, winning a one-horse race in which it was the only agency to make a final presentation.  Ogilvy & Mather had been the previous agency. 

O&M consistently had hired Illinois companies to produce tourism commercials and made a point of doing so. FCB, however, preferred to bring in big-name LA directors and pass the productions off as local by booking the LA people through an Illinois company that functioned as a production service.

Choose Chicago conducted an overview in February, conducted by search consultancy of R3: JLB.  More than a dozen Chicago agencies entered the pitch, and after an eight week review, FCB, Burnett and Magani emerged as the final three.