Illinois Interactive Campaign Invites Travelers To Play & Learn

CHICAGO (April 11, 2009) — The Illinois Bureau of Tourism (IBOT) has launched a new campaign targeting Hispanic travelers, created by its Hispanic agency of record, The San Jose Group (SJG). The campaign consists of a newly created experiential site, a text-to-win contest and the introduction of IBOT’s animated mascot, Tony la Tortuga Viajera (Tony the Traveling Turtle).

The new site,, (which means “enjoy Illinois/play”) is an extension of the recently launched and award-winning Spanish-language website. Visitors to “Juego” are given the chance to play a trivia game that tests their knowledge of Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juarez, who share a number of surprising and widely unknown connections. Travelers can participate in the trivia game either online, where kids and adults will enjoy Tony’s animated reactions to their answers, or via text messaging, which is being promoted via Spanish-language radio. Whether Hispanic travelers participate online or via texting, the game offers the opportunity to win an Illinois three-day getaway.

“This campaign is a natural progression of the main website, which we designed to provide culturally relevant content and spark word-of-mouth buzz among its visitors,” said Jim Legg, vice president of client service for SJG. “We’re providing a unique experience that shows the connection between Illinois’ history and Hispanic culture. Understanding Hispanic consumers’ openness to mobile marketing, the text-to-win competition was a great option for us to build into the program.”

A viral element of the site features Tony inviting visitors to “come out of their shell” to create their own unique, talking postcard to send to friends and family. Website tourists can also take a video journey to get an idea of the beautiful scenery and memorable activities they’ll enjoy on their actual trip throughout Illinois.

“Illinois has such a rich American heritage and part of that is our connection to Mexico,” said Jan Kostner, deputy director, Illinois Bureau of Tourism. “From a friendship between two great presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juarez, to celebrations and festivals, we wanted to share more with our Hispanic consumers, in an easy, engaging and fun way.”

Travelers can book their Illinois trip in Spanish directly on the website or by calling 1-866-610-GOZA and talking to a Spanish-speaking travel professional. Both touch points also offer travelers free copies of the state’s Spanish-language Vive la emocion travel guide.

About The San Jose Group

Incorporated in 1981, The San Jose Group specializes in developing innovative marketing communications solutions that connect brands and consumers to their core purpose. The agency is the anchor to The San Jose Network, Ltd., the largest group of marketing communications agencies serving U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. For more information, visit and