Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau internationally recognized

Advertising, marketing efforts receive five international awards

COOKEVILLE – As the fiscal year has recently closed, many businesses are looking ahead to the new year. This is also trend for the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau as the previous year’s successes guide plans for the future.

The organization’s top success of the 2017-18 year is worldwide recognition of their branding and marketing efforts for logo design, launch of, and the overall “A Natural Fit” campaign. The visitors’ bureau was awarded five international advertising and marketing awards, accumulatively throughout 2017-18 to include:

–          two silver W³ Awards in the category of Website for and in the category Campaign-Brand Strategy for the “A Natural Fit” campaign;

–          one silver Summit Award in the category of Redesign-Brand Single for the “A Natural Fit” campaign;

–          one gold Davey Award in the category of Integrated Campaign-Marketing Effectiveness for “A Natural Fit” campaign;

–          and one silver Davey Award in the category of Corporate Identity-Logos for the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau Logo.

With 4-5,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world, each of these awards honors creative excellence in marketing and advertising and is judged by leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts from across the U.S., e.g. Condé Nast, Disney, Microsoft, Facebook,, MTV, and Sesame Workshop.

International advertising and marketing accolades such as this have not been an overnight process for the visitors’ bureau nor one that has happened by accident. Partnering with local creative agency, WD Stone & Associates, the visitors’ bureau began to package Putnam County as a visitor destination with great intent and strategy with a multi-phase branding campaign initiated in early 2015.

“This has been a collective effort of years of determining the visitor-driven identity of Putnam County and the region, overall,” said Zach Ledbetter, vice president of visitor development. “The unveiling of ‘the bear logo’ was the first phase of our overall branding efforts, representing the adventurous traveler.”

“We are marketing to and encouraging potential visitors not to come here to see the bear, but to be the bear,” added Ledbetter.

The now award-winning logo offers a series of adventurous bear designs to fulfill niche marketing strategies and showcase the activities of travelers to Putnam County, each designed with careful thought and strategy; from the main logo with a bear on a bicycle carrying a canoe to more targeted designs, e.g. motorcycling, football, fitness, fishing and so on.

After a new logo and accompanying creative were unveiled, the next phase was the launch of an award-worthy website. is a dynamic site designed to serve as the bureau’s No. 1 marketing tool to inspire travel to Putnam County.

Offering captivating imagery and video, social media integration, state-of-the-art GPS/mobile and itinerary capabilities, the site is a resource not only for planning but for guiding guests while visiting.

Along with the launch of the site, the visitors’ bureau partnered with Cookeville Reserve to integrate branded merchandise with purposeful strategy behind the type and quality of product, specifically geared toward the outdoor and fitness lover. Guests can “Shop the Bear” from any page of

Integrated into the site and accompanying advertising is the branding tagline, “A Natural Fit,” characterizing the area’s natural attractions as well as the amenities leading it to be a sports and fitness destination.

With recognition of these marketing and branding efforts on multiple levels from logo design to website to overall campaign, the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau is leading the region in marketing and advertising to potential visitors like never before.

“To be recognized by such elite entities in the marketing realm, this only motivates our team to strive harder to carry out the next phases in putting Putnam County and the entire region on the map as a travel destination,” said Ledbetter. “We work daily with intention, strategy and passion to share with our drive and fly markets what a wonderful destination we have.”

Next phases of the visitors’ bureaus award-winning campaign include added social media integration, website retargeting, digital marketing partnerships including television, elevated content marketing, and continued work with local, state, and regional travel industry partners.

About: The Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau, a program of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, serves as the designated destination marketing organization (DMO) for Putnam County and is funded by a portion of the Putnam County lodging tax, a tax paid by visitors’ and collected by local lodging partners such as hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc. Ranking at 17th of Tennessee’s 95 counties, the visitors’ bureau is tasked with inspiring travel and overnight stays in Putnam County. Primary marketing pillars in drive and fly markets include outdoors; fitness/sports; motorcycling; arts/culture; and culinary/crafts. Most recent U.S. Travel Association statistics note visitor spending in Putnam County generated $2.56 million in local tax revenue, providing a tax relief for local residents with a savings of $342.86 per household. To learn more about the work of the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau, go or request additional information at

Learn more: W³ Awards: , Summit Awards:, Davey Awards:


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