The Joplin Undercurrent is a tourism marketing piece commissioned by an organization that wanted to think outside the box w/ their advertising. The project is a photonovel, the first of its' kind in the tourism market.

poster design by Lauren White 

poster design by Lauren White 

The Convention & Vistors Bureau in Joplin Missouri had already tasked me with representing a very unique city. Joplin is full of history and currently in a dramatic state of change. It's a city that not only recovered from a massive tornado, but did it with gusto- a blooming art scene, a rapidly developing downtown, and a variety of features that, however beautiful, can be a challenge to showcase in a way that stands out from the flurry of ads that fill travel magazines and websites.

The CVB wanted to show the heart of this city, and to do it in a way both unforgettable and illuminating of Joplin's creative scene through the nature of the marketing itself.

In a truly unique partnership, the Joplin CVB approached my co-director Lance Schaubert and I about doing a transmedia photonovel in the vein of our first collaboration cold brewed, to present the city of Joplin Missouri in a national tourism marketing campaign. The project would simultaneously exist as an art/entertainment work (similar to a thriller novel or film)  and as a tourism piece, weaving a fictional mystery around the real places, people, and history of Joplin.

Our team was headed up by Lance, myself, and CVB tourism specialist Carrie Puffinbarger. After the writing, casting, shooting, post-production, and promotion, the final project was released in online installments and can currently be viewed at The site had over 20,000 hits in the first 2 months and set the stage for the Joplin CVB as a revolutionary organization in the world of modern tourism marketing. The Joplin CVB has been asked to speak on the project at national tourism conferences. 

Below is a gallery that shows just a handful of images from the story... in context, they are paired w/ text (written by mr Schaubert) to tell a feature length story that equals roughly an hour of reading/viewing time.

Talk to Mark N & his partners about the creation of a photonovel to tell a story for your organization...