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December 3, 2013

Washington, DC Launches Yearlong Marketing Campaign with "DC Cool"

Destination DC's 2014 marketing theme underlines only-in-DC moments, insider tips and high energy in the nation's capital.

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Ranked the #1 destination for culture in America by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Washington, DC is well known as a bastion of fine art, history and science museums, an ideal city for affordable family vacations, romantic getaways and world-class meetings. With dozens of cranes on the city’s skyline and $8.5 billion investment in infrastructure, Washington, DC’s hospitality scene is rapidly expanding making the District an increasingly exciting destination.  To capture this spark, Destination DC, the official convention and visitors bureau for the nation’s capital, presents DC Cool, its yearlong marketing initiative. The campaign launches December 3, 2013.

“DC Cool taps into Washington’s energy to inspire overnight travel to the District,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “Typically visitors who stay in a hotel are likely to dine out, visit our world-class attractions and use local transportation, which means increased business for the District’s hospitality industry. With DC Cool, we’ll help travelers customize their experience. We want them to enjoy the city they know: the monuments and museums, and the city they might not: the new craft breweries, pop-up shops, hotel packages and museums off the Mall.”

DC Cool celebrates the innate cool qualities of Washington, DC: the vibe that’s alive in the nation’s capital. The consumer campaign was developed by MDB Communications and shot by photographers Jim Krantz and Jim Vecchione. It features locations including Le Diplomate on 14th Street’s buzzed-about restaurant row, 18th Street Lounge as the backdrop showcasing DC’s nightlife scene, the Newseum and a different take on the National Mall - highlighting how families can enjoy DC’s most famous attractions – at night.  The black and white images harken to one of the points of creative inspiration, “American Cool,” an exhibition of 100 mostly black and white portraits of iconic Americans at the National Portrait Gallery (Feb. 7 – September 7, 2014).

“The combination of new and under-the-radar destinations will keep DC Cool refreshing throughout 2014,” said Robin McClain, vice president of marketing and communications. “Washingtonians are the true local experts, so we’re tapping them to engage directly with would-be visitors to unlock what’s fresh and exciting on the street level. We’re asking visitors and locals to lead the conversation and inspire adventures by tagging their social platforms with #DCcool:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.”

Both visitors and residents are invited to log on to DCcool.com, Washington.org’s new microsite, and find inspiration in verticals as engaging as Hotels, Dining, Sports, Shopping, etc. Additionally, Destination DC’s members have uploaded their signature insider events and offerings.

DC Cool member-picks are designed to enrich the experience of:

Sports Fans: Guests are welcome to borrow a bike and a Garmin Edge 800 from the Hotel Monaco and race the general manager, Ed Virtue. Guests who beat his time on local trails will win prizes like a Camelback.
Families: Download the History Hero app and kids can take hands-on history challenges during a visit to the National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History and National Gallery.

Foodies: Indulge in a charcuterie class at the Blue Duck Tavern or lighten up deliciously with a three-course meal under 400 calories on Ici Urban Bistro’s De-Lite menu.

Night Owls: Hit the Satellite Room for boozy milkshakes, grilled cheese and weekly Wu-Tang Wednesdays; sip history at Bar 1331, the home of the Ricky, DC’s official cocktail – by order of City Council; and recover at the Hotel Rouge’s cold pizza and bloody mary bar presented weekend mornings.

Urban Explorers: Snap Thomas Jefferson around town and tag your image #wheresTommyDC to receive prizes including an edible treat at the Jefferson Hotel; book a girls weekend at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza’s designated women’s floor to access rooms stocked with extra soft robes and glossy mags.

DC Cool officially launches December 3, 2013 when the new advertising and website DCcool.com, curated by Destination DC, is unveiled at an evening reception inside the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.  The campaign targets national and international consumers through print and digital ads that will be featured in leading national publications and websites throughout the year. DC Cool is expected to translate consumer awareness into hotel bookings, restaurant reservations and visits to Washington, DC’s world-class tourist attractions throughout 2014. DC Cool will encompass Destination DC’s traditional targets including Date Nights DC campaign, a February-long promotion throughout a traditional slow period for visitation to DC; springtime and the National Cherry Blossom Festival; summer and July 4th and the holiday season.

“DC Cool is a special kind of campaign for Destination DC,” said Ferguson. “Not only does it allow us to invite visitors to enjoy the National Mall’s treasures but it gives us unlimited opportunities to emphasize the increasingly rich offerings in our neighborhoods. But don’t take our word for it. In a city full of embassies, Washingtonians are our best ambassadors and we’re excited to share what makes their days and nights #DCcool!”

For a complete listing of member amenities, local expert interviews and tips and destination round-ups as varied as craft breweries and vintage shops, please visit DCcool.com.

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About Destination DC
Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 800 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. www.Washington.org