Ascedia’s Role in Top Chef

XX min
Jul 01, 2024

Wisconsin is having a moment!
For starters, you’ve got Microsoft investing $3.3 billion here. In July ~50,000 visitors will be coming to our state for the RNC. Then there’s Summerfest and that great event. And last but not least there’s Top Chef.
See, we are way more than cheese and the Packers! 😉

Ascedia played a role in the Top Chef project and we’re going to dive into what that looked like.


About Top Chef

There are cooking shows…and then there are cooking shows and among them, Top Chef stands alone. The franchise, now in its 21st season, selected the great state of Wisconsin as the location for the show. From scanning the reviews and ratings, this season was another home run.

Our Role 

Ascedia played an important role in the project. Working alongside other partner agencies, Hiebing and Turner, we helped to construct a fully integrated marketing and communications plan to promote the series and to give a shoutout to Wisconsin’s growing culinary scene.
The Ascedia team developed the Top Chef landing page featuring locations the judges visited along with highlighting some of Wisconsin’s culinary gem locations.


It also featured

  • Tune-in information for those looking for more info on how to watch the show

  • Culinary content helps visitors learn more about what our state has to offer

  • An interactive map showcasing all the locations featured within the show


  • We built a sitewide pop-up to help promote the show and drive visitors to the new landing page 

  • We developed an interactive game called Feast or Fiction. It even has a sweepstakes component – go check it out here!

  • Finally, a Wisconsin Foodie Pass will launch and be promoted on the landing page. The passport will feature locations throughout the state to visit, get points, and earn a prize.


The show received great press reviews and solid ratings with nearly 700,000 people tuning in on key episodes.
During the premiere, Gail Simmons, a perennial judge on the show, praised Wisconsin’s food scene, stating:

“Wisconsin is a dream. The people’s generosity is not an exaggeration. It’s like a state of people who genuinely love where they live and want to welcome you with open arms.”

Tom Colicchio had this to say about Madison:
“Madison has one of the best farmers’ markets in the world, probably.”
And about Milwaukee:
“More than any other city I felt really welcomed here.”

And Peggy Williams-Smith, President and CEO at Visit Milwaukee had this to say:
“The exposure is invaluable for tourism, putting Milwaukee on the map as a must-visit destination for food lovers and travelers from all over. Did you know that 61% of people are inspired to travel to a destination after seeing it on a TV show or movie?”

And if you are wondering whether these projects have a positive impact on the state, they sure do.
This from the Travel Wisconsin newsletter:
Governor Tony Evers just announced Wisconsin posted another record-breaking year, generating a historic $25 billion economic impact in 2023! This marks back-to-back record-breaking years for tourism.  
$25 billion is pretty darn good! All these efforts add up to make Wisconsin a state that stands out. And at Ascedia, we’re happy to be a part of making it happen!


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