In 2019, Washington, DC saw a record 24.6 million total visitors—22.8 million domestic and 1.8 million overseas. These visitors spent $8.2 billion, created 78,266 jobs and generated $896 million in local tax revenue, supporting the important services residents rely upon from DC government. As can be expected, the novel coronavirus’ influence on worldwide travel has greatly impacted Washington, DC’s economy. As of August 2020, Tourism Economics estimated that Washington, DC could expect fewer than 10 million domestic visitors in 2020, which is down more than 50% from 2019. The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard—in December 2020, the number of hotel rooms sold was down 77.8% and revenue was down 82.5% over December 2019. Destination DC/Events DC seek to enlist a creative agency with proven success developing multi-channel advertising campaigns in the travel and tourism space to conceptualize and produce a recovery campaign aimed at driving visitation to Washington, DC and resuscitating the city’s struggling hospitality industry in the midst and wake of COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, advertising creative from competing destinations has been fairly one-note: when you’re ready to travel again, we’ll be here for you. While we acknowledge the need to stay top-of-mind for future travel, we are specifically looking for lower-funnel, conversiondriving, bolster-the-economy-right-now advertising creative that differentiates DC in the marketplace and establishes the nation’s capital as the go-to destination for leisure trips at every phase of COVID reopening and recovery. The creative delivered for this campaign will be applied across a multi-channel, multi-platform media mix. We anticipate these creative assets to be used in drive and national markets across the US in 2021. The creative should compel consumers to experience Washington, DC immediately, as well as when the city moves further into Phase 3, and consider how the messaging can shift in a postCOVID environment. In 2018/19, Destination DC’s in-house marketing and creative team developed and launched Discover the Real DC, a campaign aimed at encouraging travelers to drop their preconceived notions of Washington, DC and explore a side of the city they may not know exists: Michelin-starred restaurants, exciting nightlife, major-league sports, a dynamic arts community and diverse neighborhoods. A complete overview of this campaign strategy and creative can be found here: Before travelers can discover the real DC, they need to understand that DC is safe and, although the experiences may be slightly different than before, DC is open. We’re looking for a creative agency to build a campaign that m meets potential travelers where they are in this new, COVID-impacted marketing funnel.


Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 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. By developing and executing centralized and cohesive sales and marketing strategies, Destination DC generates economic development for the city through tourism and meetings.

Events DC generates economic and community benefits for the residents and businesses of the District of Columbia by creating a premier event experience in the nation’s capital, and through the promotion of Washington, DC as a world-class destination. As the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, Events DC owns and manages some of the most visited venues across the nation’s capital including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Nationals Park, Entertainment and Sports Area and DC Armory.

Scope of Work:

In order to launch a strategic recovery campaign for Washington, DC in 2021, Destination DC/Events DC are searching for an agency partner to provide the following creative services:

• Lead the creation of a multi-channel advertising campaign from conceptualization to final delivery of assets that fulfills the goals and objectives articulated in the enclosed creative brief (page 9)

• Conduct and/or interpret consumer research to better understand travel motivations of our target audience during this unprecedented time. This may involve identifying, recruiting and securing focus group participants for updated audience profile data in targeted, key markets (this can work can be provided by a sub-contractor)

• Coordinate with Destination DC’s media buying agency of record, MMGY Global, to ensure the advertising media mix complements the campaign strategy

• Produce all campaign creative assets—copy, print and digital ads, social assets, video, etc.—to fulfill the ad placements set by MMGY Global

• Partner with Destination DC’s in-house marketing and creative teams to ensure the recovery campaign meets brand standards and runs parallel with already established digital, social and content marketing strategies


As a client, Destination DC will have fully integrated members of the team working to bring this COVID recovery campaign to life. The selected agency partner will be required to establish a creative review schedule and weekly status calls for the entirety of the project. To develop a fully integrated campaign, the selected creative agency will need to work with Destination DC and Events DC to help fulfill the media strategy with the required assets. Subcontracting of the project is acceptable, but only if the agency partner is willing to act as the prime contractor with full responsibility for its subcontractor(s) and to be the sole entity in direct contact with Destination DC and Events DC. Destination DC, Events DC and the agency partner will also negotiate a statement of work incorporating portions of this RFP and the agency’s response to it, a comprehensive listing of all services to be performed by the agency, all related deliverables, a Service Level Agreement, and a detailed service pricing list.

Destination DC and Events DC will select the creative services partner that best demonstrates relevant experience, willingness to work within established budgets, and proven ability to effectively develop a multi-channel advertising campaign that meets goals, objectives and established KPIs. Specifically, each response will be evaluated based on three aspects:

• Your Organization and Creative Approach: Company profile and background, taking into account the stability of your organization, your distinctive creative and strategic capabilities, how complete and sound your responses are, and the likelihood that your proposed advertising campaign will achieve Destination DC’s objectives;

• Agency and Account Team Experience: Proposed account team and team member profiles, taking into consideration the quality of the staffing plan, qualifications of the proposed account team, relevant industry experience and quality of client references; and 

• Budget Management and Pricing: Proposed fees and approach to work within available creative budgets, taking into account your ability to deliver the required services at the budget levels indicated in this RFP. The selection team will include staff from Destination DC and Events DC.

Due Date:

February 19, 2021.

Address: using the subject line “Destination DC/Events DC CREATIVE AGENCY RFP.”

Agencies to consider include Prosek Partners and Hunter PR.

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