Travel Portland uses Mr. Dude to increase tourism

Travel Portland based Mr. Dude on the joy and lightheartedness that the city embodies

Mr. Dude is part of a marketing campaign from Travel Portland to introduce Portland to Japan. September, 27, 2016, (Travel Portland)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Travel Portland has been promoting tourism from Japan with the help of a mascot named Mr. Dude.

When the group discovered an uptick in consumer interest in Portland from Japan, it created a campaign called the World of Odnarotoop (which is the Japanese pronunciation of “Portland” spelled backwards). This campaign included Mr. Dude.

Travel Portland even teamed up with local band Ages and Ages to create a music video about the World of Odnarotoop.

Travel Portland based Mr. Dude on the joy and lightheartedness that the city embodies. They wanted to take a fun approach to Sasquatch, which is a popular Pacific Northwest mascot.

The group took this campaign to a major consumer event in Japan called Japanese Association of Travel Agents. The event regularly sees attendance around 170,000 people. There, they brought Mr. Dude and the World of Odnarotoop to life.

Travel Portland said the campaign has been well received in their target market in Japan. In the last 18 months, the group said they’ve seen an uptick in Portland visitation, as high as an 11% increase.

“The Japanese consumer is very interested in the world of Portland, and we think that Odnarotoop is a great way to introduce them to all that we have to offer,” Travel Portland said.

Although the campaign was targeted at a Japanese market, the group said it has also resonated well with people in Portland.

“It’s a great campaign. It’s a lot of fun, and it brings a lot of joy to anyone that views it,” the group said.