The Illinois Office of Tourism served as a matchmaker when they invited a man and a woman who came from different states to visit the Land of Lincoln together for the first time.
For one weekend in May, the state's tourism administration hosted a tour for 27-year-old Nashville, Tenn. Resident Sam Butts and a 23-year-old woman named Brittany Carel from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The Sun Sentinel revealed that the blind date was part of the state's latest summer digital advertising campaign that runs until mid-July. The two embarked on a 390-mile road trip, with stops in different cities in Illinois, including Wilmington, Utica, Braidwood, Alton/Grafton, Auburn, Springfield, as well as Starved Rock country.
The trip brought the Butts and Carel in some of the most loved places in the state, including wineries, and adventure zones. They also got to learn more about Abraham Lincoln's history.
According to J. Walter Thompson campaign account director Sarah Brick, the destinations that were included in the tour were carefully chosen to promote a lot of amazing activities to do and areas to go to outside Chicago.
"We wanted to pick those special destinations that could be quintessentially part of a road trip — like off the beaten path, those gems that people just don't know about that would pique interest. ... And then of course, we added a lot of outdoor adventure as part of that," Brick stated.
The pair was chosen from a group of 12 individuals because if their personalities and compatibility. Butts was described as someone who has a reserved nature, while Carel was known to be outgoing. They initially met in Chicago where they both felt that they have chemistry together.
"We did so many things in such a short amount of time, it definitely felt longer than it actually was," Butts stated. "We've been able to maintain that ... getting to know each other since then, so I think we're doing pretty good," he added.
Because of the success of the first blind date/road trip, the Illinois Office of Tourism stated that there is a big chance to repeat the program in the future.