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Visit Winona piggybacks on Winona Ryder's Superbowl ad

Whose Winona do you like better? Winona's or Winona's?

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A frame from the Squarespace advertisement featuring Winona Ryder in Winona. The ad will be aired during the Super Bowl. (YouTube)

WINONA — Whose Winona do you like better? Winona's or Winona's?

Visit Winona, the Winona visitors bureau, hopes folks take a cue from Winona native and Hollywood star Winona Ryder and find their own Winona experience. 

A few weeks ago, Ryder – with a little help from the city, which shut down streets and helped set up some photo opportunities – slipped into town to shoot a commercial for Squarespace, a website building company, which will run its ad featuring Ryder during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.

The ad features Ryder building a webpage (using Squarespace ... see what they did there?) that features photos of her experience in the city for which she was named. The photos on the site – which is called www.WelcomeToWinona.com – are available in a photobook that can be purchased with the proceeds going to the American Indian College Fund.

However, the story doesn't end there.

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Visit Winona Marketing Specialist Cynthya Porter said that while Ryder has her view of Winona to share, Visit Winona wants Super Bowl viewers – or the few other people on the planet – to find their own Winona experience. 

"It goes to the real heart of the whole concept of the real Winona," Porter said. "She has some of our wonderful local characters and some interesting streetscapes. We want people to come find their true Winona. Everyone is going to have a different perception of the place they go."

The visitor bureau is promoting its own Squarespace website titled WelcomeToTheRestOfWinona.com . Porter said Visit Winona's site isn't meant to counter what Ryder has created, but simply to offer another view of Winona. In conjunction, Visit Winona is promoting its own photobook project, inviting its social media followers to post their own "true Winona" shots using #WelcomeToWinona on their posts.

"For us, it's kind of like having this side campaign to her campaign that allows us to tell our story," Porter said.

Best of all, the city has been getting unprecedented exposure, even before the big game, and being part of a $5 million advertisement seen by roughly 100 million people on Sunday should benefit the city greatly. 

"It's such a blessing for Winona," Porter said. "It's an amazing opportunity for us." 

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