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Awards case study: How Nelson Schmidt won Gold for ‘Best multichannel campaign’ for its work in Wisconsin

Like most states, Covid-19 struck Wisconsin fast and fiercely. At no other time in history had our personal health and the health of our economy been more intertwined. The only way to get through this was to work together. Every single person, business and community in the state had to commit to going all-in against the virus. This was the insight that led to the ‘We’re All In’ multichannel campaign for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). It was a statewide, multi-phased public information campaign designed to help protect the well-being of all Wisconsinites and Wisconsin businesses. 

About the client company 

The WEDC is a state organisation committed to creating and maintaining an economic climate that allows businesses and people to maximise their potential. During the pandemic, WEDC focused heavily on relief efforts for the Wisconsin economy, helping businesses and citizens survive the economic impact of Covid-19. 

Strategy – broader business issues the company is facing 

As mentioned earlier, the only way to get through this was to work together. 

But early in the pandemic, Nelson Schmidt Inc. noticed a plethora of disparate organisations creating their own campaigns and messaging that positioned fighting the virus through the lens of their specific needs and goals. At that time, nobody was rising above it all and looking at the bigger picture that Covid-19 was presenting a dual threat against our personal and economic health. 

This insight led to Nelson Schmidt’s idea of connecting people, businesses and communities as one in the fight against the virus. And rising above any individual organisation or goal to reach the entire state of Wisconsin for the benefit of everyone. 

This led to the creation of the ‘We’re All In’ brand and campaign for the WEDC. To ensure the message was timely, relevant and helpful throughout the pandemic, Nelson Schmidt evolved the campaign as Covid-19 evolved, providing businesses, communities and citizens with just the right pandemic information, assistance and relief at just the right time.

Objectives of the campaign 

The objectives of the ‘We’re All In’ campaign were: 

  1. Create a standalone, statewide brand to connect citizens, businesses and communities together in the fight against the health and economic threats of Covid-19.
  2. Inform and inspire all people in Wisconsin to practice safe behaviours to help curb the devastating impact of the virus.
  3. Provide an optimistic point-of-view that helped Wisconsinites take a more proactive approach during the pandemic.

The target audience 

All citizens, business owners, business employees and communities in the state of Wisconsin. Early on, they were paralysed by the pandemic and unsure how they could make a positive impact amongst the personal and economic devastation.

Media, channels or techniques used 

‘We’re All In’ was a wide-ranging, statewide campaign that included: 

  • Brand identity development 
  • TV 
  • Radio 
  • Print
  • Out-of-home 
  • Programmatic digital display 
  • Paid and organic social media 
  • Digital video 
  • User-generated content 
  • Website 
  • Social influencers 
  • Small business Covid-19 safety kits 
  • Small business grants 
  • Small business events.

The executions were created in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Hmong. 

Timescales of the campaign 

The campaign launched in mid-April 2020, early in the pandemic. Phases 1 and 2 are represented in this award entry, but the campaign continues to this day, where Nelson Schmidt is currently finishing up Phase 3 and soon launching Phase 4. 


Mid-campaign research showed that 75% of Wisconsinites were aware of the ‘We’re All In’ campaign and 62% said they wanted to learn more about how to fight Covid-19 after seeing the campaign. Additionally, the website had an impressive 3.3% conversion rate – a level usually only found on ecommerce sites – thanks to participation elements that were built into the online experience. This included more than 2000 downloads of small business Covid-19 safety materials.

“While Covid has struck fear and uncertainty in people and business owners alike, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation – with the help of our agency – devised a public information strategy aimed at reinforcing safe behaviours and encouraging local business patronage using motivational messaging reflecting a more positive, core Wisconsin trait – neighbourliness. For it will take all of us being ‘All In’ to rise above this challenge, as we have done as a state throughout our history.” 

Kelly Lietz , VP, marketing & brand strategy

The B2B Marketing Elevation Awards 2021

This entry won Gold for ‘Best multichannel campaign’ at the 2021 Elevation Awards.

Check out all the winners here!

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