Visit Milwaukee Is Making a TV Show

The new show hopes to give tourists a local perspective on Milwaukee.

Visit Milwaukee, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, is filming a television show to help drive tourism to Milwaukee. The show, “Good Things Brewing,” launches this fall and is among several initiatives unveiled by Visit Milwaukee at its annual meeting on Wednesday.

At the meeting, which featured performances from Milwaukee-born artists Grace Weber and Mudy, Travel Wisconsin released 2021 statewide data that showed that tourism rebounded strongly in 2021 and drove $5.2 billion in economic impact to the Greater Milwaukee area.

“There are so many good things brewing in Milwaukee and we’re proud to build on that momentum with initiatives of our own,” Visit Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith said in a press release. “While 2021’s tourism numbers were incredibly encouraging, we know recovery for the travel and tourism industry is still underway. That’s why we wanted to work on bold, innovative projects that would capture the attention of visitors from around the world.”

“Good Things Brewing” is being created through a partnership with Milwaukee full-service media production firm Plum Media and David Caruso, an internationally celebrated event planner and designer in Milwaukee. 

“Good Things Brewing” will give viewers a “local’s” version of Milwaukee and provide a depiction of the city that feels “authentic, current and exciting,” according to Visit Milwaukee. In each episode, Caruso, who is based in Milwaukee and is owner and CEO of Dynamic Events, will conduct experiential interviews at attractions, restaurants, bars and hotels with Milwaukee’s most interesting people.


 

 

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Plum Media’s work includes producing “John McGivern’s Main Streets,” which features the Milwaukee-born actor and his travels to communities in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Much of Visit Milwaukee’s current marketing efforts are tied to online video content, explained Josh Albrecht, vice president of marketing and communications for the organization.

“We know that consumers are getting a lot of their content online. A lot of our marketing goes through on-demand video and traditional marketing elements,” he says. “We’ve been doing that for years and we wanted to find a way, coming out of the ‘Unique Unites’ videos that we made during the pandemic that highlighted individuals and elements of our community, to keep expanding on all of that and see how can we could take it to a level where we hadn’t been before.”

To that end, Visit Milwaukee engaged in discussions with Plum Media over the past few months about doing a show in a similar vein as McGivern’s that would highlight people, neighborhoods and attractions throughout the city.  

“Those conversations evolved over time,” he says. “We brought David Caruso in because of his experience on local Milwaukee television and he’s such a great cheerleader and enthusiast for the city. We thought he would be a great host. It all just came together.”

The intent is to have the show air on broadcast television on one of the major networks, Albrecht says.

“Plum is very familiar with getting airtime through broadcast television,” he says. “They will help us navigate that realm.”

The show is likely to air during daytime on the weekends and will fill a 30-minute time slot, with four episodes to start, but Visit Milwaukee also plans to also air segments on YouTube and social media.

“If [that] accomplishes our goals then we will see about doing a second season,” Albrecht says. “Many bureaus do one-offs with existing televisions shows but this is one of the first times that I know of that an organization has taken the step of saying that we want to control all of the content so that we can really be authentic with the storytelling and really provide that clear direction.”

Visit Milwaukee will be reaching out to its members and other community members to gauge interest in underwriting the show, he said.

Visit Milwaukee announced several other initiatives this week, including a mobile visitor center that will travel around Milwaukee and the Midwest, a new “Treat Yourself” pass, similar to the cheese curd past from earlier this summer, and an allyship accountability program to “advocate for and advance the interests of historically marginalized groups in a way that is measurable and transparent.”

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Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.