Explore MN’s new LGBTQ+ tourism campaign makes a splash

A 30-second ad put out by the state’s tourism board was featured today on the multimillion-follower Twitter account Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok). The video can be seen here. The Libs’ tweet of the video has gained nearly a half-million views.

Explore Minnesota Tourism is a $18-million-a-year state agency funded almost entirely by general fund tax dollars. The agency has a dedicated campaign to attracting the LGBTQ+ tourist to the state.

The full video is reportedly available on the state agency’s Instagram account.

AlphaNews has a story on the video, and posts this redacted screenshot from the 0:04 second mark.

Source: AlphaNews

AlphaNews added the strategically-placed black bar to the original photo. An unredacted screenshot can be found here.

In its most recent budget document, the state tourism board provides some insight into marketing to this demographic,

Minnesota budget records confirm that the wanderfulwives, billed out of Alaska, were paid a total of exactly $11,700 spread over fiscal years 22 and 23 for their content provision.

The Grand Forks Herald reported on the effort back in March,

When Explore Minnesota aimed to promote the 50th anniversary of the Twin Cities LGBTQ+ festival, they called on Justine and Sam of the Wanderful Wives to chronicle their experience visiting the event, the city and the parade.

“So thrilled to be working with an organization and state that values the queer community,” they wrote on one post.

They then wrote an article that was used in the Explore Minnesota magazine.

Their magazine article can be found here. The wives’ visit to Winona is covered here.

Here are Justine and Sam at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden,

Here they appear at the 0:20 second mark of the Explore MN video,

The wives could not have been more complimentary about their visit to Minneapolis. They write, “It’s clear they don’t call it ‘Minnesota Nice’ for nothing! Everyone belongs here!”

You can’t buy publicity like that. Well, apparently you can, and it only costs $11,700. Explore MN explains further in its budget document,

Your tax dollars at work.