Mystic, CT is home to two popular attractions located less than a mile from one another: Mystic Seaport, the nation’s premier maritime history museum, and Mystic Aquarium, known for its charming penguins and beluga whales. Visitors to Mystic often made pass-through trips to the area, seeing one attraction or the other during their one-day visit. Working to market Mystic Seaport, we recognized that if we could prompt an overnight stay, visitors could be persuaded to visit both attractions – thus benefitting the institutions as well as the area.
We proposed a joint ticket and a joint positioning. Because Mystic Seaport was all about seafaring, with boats riding above the water, and Mystic Aquarium’s animals lived mostly below the surface, we proposed to market both attractions with a single promise: Sea Everything. The effort began with the Mystic Pass Card, a joint ticket that incorporated discounts to both institutions and to other Mystic businesses, and quickly became an area-wide marketing effort with a dedicated website that facilitated overnight stays: mystic.org.
The joint effort boosted attendance at both institutions by double digits over the year immediately prior to introduction. Within a couple of years, mystic.org had overtaken the popularity of mysticcountry.org, a better-funded site that represented the Eastern third of Connecticut, and we were invited to expand the site and rebrand Mystic Country. Recognizing the area as one of the greenest geographies in the crowded Northeast Corridor, we positioned Mystic Country as a breath of fresh air between New York and Boston.