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“Welcome to Winona” sign in Super Bowl ad was fake, but could still be in area

WIZM staff

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PHOTO: Screenshot Squarespace ad.

There was buzz in Winona last month, as famous actress Winona Ryder filmed a Super Bowl ad in the town that inspired her name.

The Super Bowl ad, itself, didn’t quite feature the town, however — taken on a county road just of Interstate 90.

As for the sign Ryder was lying in front of, it wasn’t real. That “Welcome to Winona” sign was constructed solely for the ad.

“It’s gone but I am trying to locate it, to see if we can get a hold of it,” Visit Winona executive director Pat Mutter said Monday afternoon on WIZM.

Later on the show, however, a caller who claimed his farm is shown in the Super Bowl ad said he knows where the sign is.

“The sign is in my neighbor’s garage,” the caller said. “It still exists. I don’t know what they can do with the sign. It’s in their garage.”

The caller didn’t notice any extra traffic Monday out where the ad was filmed but did note that there was a lot of angry traffic during filming.

“There was a lot of upset people when they were doing the filming because they had the road closed off for three days here,” he said.

Squarespace brought its ad campaign to the Mississippi River town with a series of commercials featuring Ryder. The Super Bowl ad (extended version here) didn’t show off the town, but another commercial does — sort of.

Ryder walks around what appears to be ghost-town Winona, passing familiar sites to those who live there — just no people, minus who she “interviews.” At one point she talks to a waitress in a 50s-style diner, and they discuss the pictures she’s taken for the town to create a website — a real site featuring Ryder’s version of Winona.

Mutter and Visit Winona, however, created their own site, to show a more realistic version of Winona called WelcomeToTheRestofWinona.com.

Visit Winona hopes people will flock to their site, sign up for their sweepstakes and flood their social media pages with all kinds of photos featuring Winona.

Squarespace wasn’t done with just ads, however. The company is also giving Winona residence a free year of website hosting.

Those who want to take advantage of the deal can go to Blooming Grounds Coffee House locations in Winona between Feb. 10-March 10 to sign up.

A webinar showing how to create a site will take place at 4 p.m. March 10. Register for the webinar by clicking here.