Starting this month, Brand USA will be transitioning to a new URL—www.VisitTheUSA.com—from the DiscoverAmerica.com that it has been using for nearly five years to promote the USA throughout the world. The members of the Brand USA board of directors had no problem when the agency’s staff announced the move at its recent board meeting.
Aside from the fact that the DiscoverAmerica.com was not developed or tested by Brand USA—it was turned over to BUSA by the U.S. Travel Association nearly five years ago, which was almost the same amount of time since it had been acquired through a deal made with a New England travel agency owner by the late Mike Pusateri when the latter was chief operator office of U.S. Travel—it simply did not fit with the message of Brand USA’s mission: to get travelers to visit the USA.
The DiscoverAmerica.com also did not distinguish the uniqueness of the USA, as it is not the only America. There are other Americas: South America, North America, Central America. While VisitUSA as a URL might seem logical, it is already in use worldwide as the global ID of the Visit USA Committee network: i.e., VisitUSA.org.uk, visitusa.co.nz, etc.
On the other hand, explained Anne Madison, chief communications officer, VisitTheUSA is specific to the United States and will help facilitate a seamless transition from DiscoverAmerica.com. Also the DiscoverAmerica.com will continue to be used and TheBrandUSA.com will remain as the agency’s corporate website.
When a question came from a call-in listener to the board’s conference call meeting asking if the new URL would result in a change to the “Brand USA” logo comprised of dots or, as Chief Marketing Officer David Whitaker called them, “bubbles,” Whitaker reassured the listener: “I don’t envision that changing,” explaining that “there is great equity” in the logo.
Concluded Whitaker: “The bubbles will stay.”
Note: “America’s Wild: A National Parks Adventure,” Brand USA’s much-awaited big screen film featuring Robert Redford as narrator, will have its worldwide debut Feb. 10, 2016 at the Air & Space Museum in Washington,D.C.