The Iowa Tourism Office has launched a campaign to lure visitors from neighboring states. Office manager Shawna Lode says the marketing effort includes 15-second television ads on cable networks in Chicago, Minneapolis and Kansas City. “We’re using a range of tactics,” Lode says. “We’re advertising online, in print, in malls and we’re also working on social media and public relations to extend our message.”

The goal of the ad campaign is to highlight Iowa as an affordable, easy-to-get-to family destination. The primary target of the ads is moms. “We’re targeting ‘social moms,’ is what we are calling them,” Lode said. “We’re targeting women, who primarily make the travel decisions in the home. We’re targeting them in malls with advertising on lighted kiosks and entrances to the malls. We’re also targeting those moms in publications that women read and websites that women visit.”

The spring ad campaign is costing the state around $800,000. Travelers to Iowa annually generate more than $6 billion in spending and leave behind more than $300 million in state tax revenue, according to Lode.