LeClaire, IA

A Partnership between LeClaire, IA + McD Marketing

Works // 05.26.2023 // LeClaire, IA

Updated 5.26.23

A Partnership between LeClaire, IA + McD Marketing

It’s All Here.

A quaint river town full of surprises, LeClaire, IA, hosts can’t miss events, serves up incredible foodie favorites and offers once-in-a-lifetime boutique shopping on and around Cody Road. Effortlessly, LeClaire blends a relaxing getaway with opportunities to create bold new memories. Oh, did we mention that it’s the Home to the American Pickers? So, yes. It’s kind of a big deal, but uniquely packaged in a cozy, welcoming getaway.

Let’s explore how McD partnered with Visit LeClaire to help folks from all walks of life rediscover this eclectic river town.

The Challenge.

To refresh the brand and public-facing aesthetic of LeClaire, IA, as a weekend getaway targeted at specific overnight markets based on local lodging property research, McD crafted a strategy to highlight the unique appeal of its small, locally owned shops, restaurants and entertainment spaces.

Through destination research and firsthand exploratory visits, the McD team helped define the who, what, why and how in terms of the overall brand presence and outward aesthetic of LeClaire, IA. A big piece of that puzzle was establishing how to freshen up the idea of a “river town” to feel more modernized and upbeat — matching the tourism of today.

There’s no denying how important the Mississippi River is to the overall development of LeClaire — then or now. The locals, the movers and shakers of this proud city help create an environment so welcoming that visitors start to feel part of a greater purpose — a part of this family. The iconic tale of Antique Archaeology easily draws in a crowd, but what makes folks return year after year? We already had the answer in the amazing experiences and people, but we had to pull that energy out and creatively redistribute it to the different aspects of their forward-facing brand (e.g., social media, video, website, PPC and print ads), while highlighting all the amazing places along the way.

How Good Design Helped Connect the Dots.

Visually, McD’s creative team built upon the overall vibe by modernizing the website and style for the print and digital assets. Pulling from the gritty, authentic experience and the approachable, laid-back one, we extended the existing brand and color scheme, while adjusting the typography styling to resemble the hand-painted signage commonly found in places along a defining body of water. Then, our designers encouraged the use of texture in the design to add to that deeply rooted, yet warmly progressive feel of the town. Here are some examples...


A shining example of our efforts, the new website (visitleclaire.com) works to bring that initial feeling of history and mystery to the friendly flair that the local community offers here. From the typography to the video and image selection, the website brings together the stories, directories and picturesque visuals of what’s waiting for the visitors on their trip to LeClaire.

Sports Venue Poster

Playing with the design elements of the new website, McD designed a poster to live in the local-area sports complex to entice athletes and families to hop in the car and enjoy all the sights, sounds and tasty fare of LeClaire in between games and after hours.

Speaking of Consistency…

Clear, effective communication is the key to any campaign, but we can’t forget about consistency. To truly honor the redesign, we made sure to include all the same elements as implemented on the website, digital ad components and even the print pieces like their visitors guide.

Video story telling has also played a key role in the communication strategy. Our team shot and edited a series of videos along with a new television commercial that runs on local broadcast stations as well as digital platforms.

Spoiler alert — it has performed extremely well!

A Shift to Digital Overdrive

As part of the strategy to highlight the unique appeal of LeClaire’s small, locally owned shops, restaurants and entertainment spaces, and ultimately lure more visitors to LeClaire, it was imperative to reach potential visitors living in both overnight and local markets. To accomplish this, McD shifted the promotional mix to a strategy built on 55% digital Display, Search and video advertising; 25% local and regional print; and 20% local television.

The switch to a primarily digital strategy accomplished multiple objectives:

  • Real time measurement and statistical reporting to assure a greater R.O.I.
  • Extended reach into overnight markets at rates much more efficient per engagement than traditional marketing tactics can accomplish
  • Increased visibility amongst potential visitors who fall into younger age demographics — those who rely less on traditional media, but who love travel and unique experiences
  • Immediate measurable increase in local sales tax receipts

Ready to see just how well it performed?
Check out some of these metrics from year one:

Riverboat Twilight total pasengers have increased by 47% since 2019!
Most visitors are from at least 120 miles away.


Occupancy Data
01/01/22 - /12/13/22

Property #1 Occupied Rooms: 6%
Property #2 Occupied Rooms: 8%





“LeClaire Tourism has partnered with McDaniels Marketing since 2019. They have helped us reach out to new customer bases and develop our brand identity in an effective manner. Having a consistent brand that plays well in the newest formats is crucial to survival in the modern media market. McDaniels has helped us reach potential customers in a targeted and timely way. They have updated and redesigned our marketing presence from Facebook to Google, Instagram to email marketing and billboards, and even our website. Vistitleclaire.com was pulled from the City's website and rebuilt as a tourism only site in 2020, and now when people click through they experience something delightful and inviting, not governmental and awkward. This positions us well for all of our future marketing as a community, and helps drive eager customers to today's businesses. Marketing has changed so much in the eleven years I have been in business. It's hard to know what is good marketing, and it changes so quickly that what worked two years ago is obsolete now. Hiring professionals who can consistently deliver results to manage your marketing efforts is money well spent, especially in terms of tourism marketing.”

Mandy Harvey President – LeClaire Tourism Owner – Crane and Pelican Café, LeClaire

Let us help you take your marketing strategy to the next level with McD Marketing. Contact Randy McDaniels at rmcdaniels@mcdmarketing.com or call (309) 346-7412 for more information.


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