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 Endearing Experiences at the Grand Canyon: the world famous mules

You really have to want to go to Grand Canyon National Park: It’s not exactly “along the way” to someplace else. Percepture’s mission on behalf of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which owns the Grand Canyon Railway and runs the famed lodges and concession in at South Rim, was to drive visitation. We decided to celebrate why the Grand Canyon is humbling, religious and awe-inspiring by focusing on one of the most endearing experiences at the Grand Canyon: the world famous mules (the surefooted animals that have carried hundreds of thousands of tourists down the Canyon’s treacherous terrain since the late 1800s).

Specifically, a mule named Tator Tot. This is a story of how content drove revenue and also influenced coveted media platforms including traditional media, social, digital, direct-to-consumer and online. We’re talking the cover of O Magazine and a major multi-segment on NBC’s TODAY Show with Al Roker, and one of the most successful online promotions with 93 Gannett newspapers and USA Today, unprecedented social and an email campaign to 1.7 million subscribers. The promotion? “Name That Mule” (a new arrival). There were more than 20,000 entries. No advertising dollars/promotional fees were involved. The new mule’s name: Vista.

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