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Beaman, Inc   
portfolio   |   Illinois Bureau of Tourism
bally total fitness
British Petroleum (BP)
Illinois Bureau of Tourism
national black mba association

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Bureau of Tourism (IBOT) and the Illinois Tourism Alliance sought the marketing savvy of several agencies to support an integrated communications initiative to promote Illinois tourism. Each year, Illinois attracts more than 90 million visitors and adds $25 billion to the local economy as a result of an aggressive campaign to spur year-round travel directed to its wide variety of attractions. Integrated campaigns that span print/broadcast/online advertising, public relations and the Internet target general market and multicultural markets and position Illinois as one of the nation’s premier travel destinations.











project overview

In 2005, IBOT tapped Beaman Incorporated to create and manage a comprehensive, multiyear marketing campaign to target the African-American market, raising the visibility of Illinois as a prime travel destination and ultimately increasing African-American travel to the state.

Over a three-year span, Beaman Incorporated orchestrated a highly successfully strategic marketing campaign that employed numerous media channels. The campaign, themed “Soul of Illinois,” casts Illinois tourism through the lens of an African-American perspective, creatively pairing the state’s rich cultural legacy with an assortment of statewide destinations and attractions. Our work has encompassed:


Creative concept and design
Interactive web development
Public relations
Media planning/buying
Marketing and promotions




Develop a comprehensive statewide tourism campaign that engages the African-American audience through a variety of media
Create a brand for African-American Illinois tourism
Position Illinois as a desirable travel destination and attract African-American visitors
Manage a strategic public relations initiative that touts Illinois attractions and destinations to elevate the visibility of the state among African-American travelers
Supervise an annual paid media schedule that comprises national/regional print and online media




A successful component to the Soul of Illinois initiative is the " My Illinois" campaign, which features profiles of African-American celebrities born in Illinois that we receive gratis. These testimonials support culturally significant destinations, events, people and life experiences, providing fodder for Beaman Incorporated’s public relations, advertising and other marketing initiatives.


Public relations
In a four-year period, Beaman Incorporated has garnered an array of news stories and story placements in local, regional and national media. Coverage featured profiles that spotlight Chicago, Bronzeville and Springfield as destinations; the Soul of Illinois web site; the My Illinois program; and general interest topics such as the Underground Railroad, Illinois arts and culture, and the IBOT poster campaign.

Beaman Incorporated orchestrated radio media tours yielded exposure on top-tier African-American radio regionally and nationally. This coverage provided Illinois tourism valuable nonpaid airtime to promote events and travel destinations.

In all, Beaman Incorporated has placed more 45 stories, securing more than 10 million media impressions.

Media planning/buying
Beaman Incorporated launched a strategic advertising program that utilized print, online, radio and event marketing media to reach African-American travelers in collar markets (Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Missouri) and densely populated African-American markets nationally. Over the span of the contract, Beaman Incorporated has negotiated more than $375,000 in media buys in local, regional and national media, including travel magazines and on African-American and/or travel-oriented web sites and radio, and in concert with well-appointed events via sponsorship opportunities. To maximize paid media reach, value-added opportunities were secured in each buy.


Creative design
When launching a new campaign, perhaps the most significant piece of the marketing puzzle is to deliver a “look, taste and feel” for the campaign that marries strategy and creativity. During the span of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism contract, Beaman Incorporated’s "Soul of Illinois" creative successfully delivered the campaign message while maintaining a rich artistic flair that is traditionally absent in tourism creative. With each year of the campaign, Beaman Incorporated developed a series of stellar print and online ads that incorporated an array of themes, including family travel, shopping and dining, regional destination drivers and statewide cultural legacy.

A centerpiece of Beaman Incorporated’s creative work for the Soul of Illinois campaign is the production of a newly designed travel guide that features the African-American community in the state of Illinois. From its captivating cover design of iconic bronzed images to its comprehensive content that masterfully navigates statewide attractions, the Soul of Illinois African-American Travel Guide pays homage to the state’s rich African-American history and profiles an exciting array of options and activities throughout Illinois’ seven regions. The 40-page, 5 ½” x 8 ½” guide gives travelers a scenic preview of cultural attractions, festivals, and dining locales.

Web site/online
Beaman Incorporated designed, developed and launched a web site dedicated to the Soul of Illinois campaign under the banner SoulfulIllinois.com. The web site serves as a primary gateway for our "Soul of Illinois" campaign.

Using the brand platform for Soul of Illinois, the web site incorporates the dynamic, rich colors and style developed for all other campaign creative. Site structure comprises 70 percent HTML/30 percent Flash (in headers and footers only), allowing for the implementation of measurable SEO strategies and seamless data collection while still reflecting aesthetic,visual creativity.

SoulfulIllinois.com is a vivid, user-friendly guide to African-American-oriented activities and events that cover an array of interests that we categorize in the following interest groups:

Arts and Culture
Beauty and Style
My Illinois