Filming a video with a goat has its challenges, but Pretzel, the pygmy used for the Get Out and Try… Waunakee promotion eventually got the hang of it last week.
“It was fun,” said Jennifer Tasker, the marketing guru from Opportunas Agency helping to launch the Get Out and Try… campaign.
“Goats do eat everything. Waunakee got some free weed pulling on the sidewalks,” Tasker added.
But, she said, Pretzel had just one accident.
“Fortunately, it was at Weaver Auto, and they had tile on the floor,” Tasker said.
Get Out and Try… or GOAT Waunakee is a collaboration between the Village of Waunakee and the Waunakee Chamber of Commerce aimed to bring area residents back into their hometown shops. Even Pretzel was eager to visit stores toward the end of the video shoot.
“People bent over backwards to accommodate us,” Tasker said, adding the business owners invited the goat inside.
Get Out and Try… Waunakee officially launches this week, and on Sept. 26, GOAT Dayz will be celebrated for a full week, with specials at local businesses and a chance to win prizes. All Waunakee area businesses, whether or not they are Chamber members, were encouraged to participate.
“The whole point of Get Out and Try... Waunakee is to encourage residents and those around to take advantage of all you can do right here in Waunakee, and local shops have all you need,” Tasker said.
With it, safety during this pandemic is the No. 1 priority, she said, so to ensure Waunakee’s smaller shops are not bombarded by customers, the event will last through Oct. 3 rather than just one day.
Tasker said some shops can have no more than five people in them at once while maintaining social distancing precautions.
GOAT Dayz stemmed from the Chamber’s tradition of Depot Days, where participants could pick up a passport at the Waunakee Chamber office at the depot and receive a stamp at the businesses they visited.
“Each stop has its own individual offer that’s printed on the passport,” Tasker said.
This year, the passports will be online to download and print off from the website goatwaunakee.com. Passports returned to the Chamber with a certain number of stamps will be entered into a drawing for prizes.
The organizers are also planning a drive-thru market with a dining pick-up behind the depot featuring food and beverage items from local restaurants, Tasker said.
Tasker and business owners have been preparing for the Get Out and Try… campaign for several weeks. The promotional videos featuring Pretzel will begin to air this week, with a Wisconsin comedian, Rob Brackenridge, featured, as well.
GOAT Dayz is the first event in the campaign. The Boo Bash is planned for Oct. 14 although it has been altered with additional precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chamber of Commerce Director Ellen Schaaf said children will be invited to the Depot to pick up goody bags with treats on that Wednesday.
“We recognize that in the interest of public safety, we can’t have 600 kids and parents and grandparents trick-or-treating,” Schaaf said.
Other activities with social distancing precautions are planned as well, as part of Boo Bash.
Finally, in December, Santa Claus will visit the village for some kind of event although the details are still being worked out.
“The village feels like it’s something that can be done safely, even if we have to figure out the logistics,” Schaaf said.
In the past, the Light the Night event, with a parade down Main Street led by Santa Claus, has helped businesses kick off the holiday season, Schaaf said.
As Tasker and Schaaf have planned the Get Out and Try… campaign, they have talked to business owners and heard their stories.
“It was hard listening to what’s going on and how people are feeling,” Tasker said.
The campaign is meant to show that the businesses are open, are safe, and that the owners miss their customers.
“They told us their challenges. This was a bright spot,” Schaaf said about the Get Out and Try… campaign. “They realized they are not in this alone. They liked the concept.”
She noted that many miss the face-to-face interactions with customers.
Tasker added that unlike other campaigns, where a new product is launched, this Get Out and Try… concept can carry through the end of the year.
Schaaf added that the campaign is two months in the making, as she and a marketing task force have worked with Tasker and the agency.
“This advertising campaign can go into 2021. It can continue with the same GOAT name. That Jennifer and the task force have worked really hard and it can go on past next year, that was added value,” Schaaf said.
For more about the campaign, visit goatwaunakee.com or Facebook: GOAT Waunakee @goatwaunakee, Instagram: GOAT Waunakee #GOATWaunakee or Twitter: GOAT Waunakee @GOATWaunakee.