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Cortland Curiosities

Many tourism trails revolve around experiences of the culinary or craft beverage variety designed to please the masses. But, what about niche travelers in search of alternatives?

Experience Cortland, the tourism promotion agency for rural Cortland County, decided to target people in search of something different. In search of a unique tourism draw, they came to ABC with the concept for a Strange and Forgotten History Trail full of strange and unusual tales.

Curious About What Goes Into a Great Campaign? See How It’s Made in Our Behind the Scenes Video and View More Like It Here!

These Cortland Curiosities include all things eerie and bizarre about this seemingly quiet corner of upstate New York. From murder mysteries to an ancient circus and odd history to supernatural sites, the trail was unlike any other in the country. The initiative is actually a collection of nine trails with themes like “Boneyards and Burial Grounds,” “The Misfortune of Grace Brown,” and “One-Off Oddities.”

Logo development

ABC Creative designed a slightly macabre logo with a creepy circus site as a centerpiece to pique curiosity. A match gave a nod to the sites of some famous fires along the trails. Curved trees, the night sky, a black cat and crow added to the spookiness of the trails’ visual representation.

From there, the Design Department migrated these creepy creations and other art elements to the website packed with extremely detailed trail descriptions and a robust interactive map that propelled the dark journey.

We then funneled all our creative into a promotional video reminiscent of a horror film trailer that invited brave travelers to come and experience the truly peculiar Curiosities for themselves.

A genuine fascination with the previously unknown and untold stories provided a creepy experience for the creative team, which was just as spooked by the project as the tourists we targeted.