And Other Destination Marketing Moves
Surf City Has Soul: In Southern California, Visit Huntington Beach, the tourism bureau for the destination that is officially billed as Surf City USA, has another brand to brandish for both international and domestic marketing: “The Soul of SoCal.” Just announced, the new brand/slogan was developed in conjunction with the San Antonio-based Atkins Group.
“Huntington Beach has long been known as Surf City USA and one of California’s quintessential beach communities,” Kelly Miller, president and CEO of Visit Huntington Beach, said in a news release announcing the “Soul” brand, adding that, in the research that led to the development of the new brand, “We learned that Huntington Beach resonates deeply as a destination that authentically delivers our brand promise: endless summer, flawless waves, laid-back luxury and an unhurried, welcoming future … that represents ‘The Soul of the SoCal’ experience to our visitors domestically and internationally.”
Objections notwithstanding, Visit Huntington Beach is going ahead with a multi-channel campaign this summer using the new branding. Said Susan Thomas, chief marketing officer to Visit Huntington Beach, in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times, “Our new campaign is focused on storytelling and content engagement around three distinct visitor experiential pillars: laid-back luxury, multi-generational family travel and action sports.”
She added, “Given the dynamic, competitive environment in the travel marketplace in general, and many exciting new products adding to the Huntington Beach experience for visitors, Visit Huntington Beach is following industry best practices by assessing our brand position, including quantitative and qualitative research with leisure and group travelers domestically and internationally.”
Nebraska Has The Good Life: For more than 40 years, the official Nebraska slogan has been “Nebraska. The Good Life. Well, now it’s even better, were one to believe the enthusiastic launch given last week in an official announcement by the state’s governor, Pete Ricketts, who revealed a new brand: “Nebraska. Good Life. Great Opportunity.”
He said the “Good Life. Great Opportunity.” slogan reflects who Nebraskans are and what they feel about themselves. “From Sandhills ranches to Omaha high rises, this brand is inspired by the men and women who grew Nebraska for our first 150 years,” Ricketts said, explaining that it will also be flexible enough that it can be adapted for use by specific state agencies or local governments: i.e., the Nebraska State Patrol will use the tag line: “Good Life. Great Tradition.” The Department of Labor will use “Good Life. Great Connections.” And the Department of Roads will be “Good Life. Great Journey.”
As is the case with any new branding announced by a destination, the new effort produced mixed results. Online comments ranged from “Simple and keeps a very popular phrase with a new twist” to “This looks like a company. Nebraska: The Corporation.”
Left untouched by the announcement is the state’s tourism brand, “Nebraska Nice,” which was introduced in 2014. Amy Struthers, a professor of advertising and public relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said that “Nice” has not clicked with the public. “The people of Nebraska certainly let it be known in the past that they believe in the Good Life as an accurate slogan,” Struthers told the Omaha World-Herald. “Using this one tag line would help our citizens become the state’s best brand ambassadors.”
NYC Has Shanghai—Largest Cities in USA, China form Tourism Partnership: The Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA) and New York City & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, have announced a first-ever city-to-city partnership to boost tourism. The partnership brings together the USA’s largest city (pop. 8.55 million) and China’s largest city (pop. 24.5 million in its administrative district) in a two-year alliance includes a reciprocal outdoor media advertising exchange in Shanghai and New York City, the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing between the two destinations and other initiatives designed to stimulate travel between the two cities during this year’s U.S.-China Tourism Year and beyond.
This marks the first time New York City’s tourism organization has inked a partnership of this kind in China. Outdoor media promoting New York City and its new global “See it for Yourself” campaign will appear throughout Shanghai in four major subway stations through August 11 (People’s Square, Xujiahui, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum and Xintiandi). Additionally, the façade of the Citi Bank Wall in Lujiazui will be lit with imagery promoting New York City.
Reciprocally, Shanghai will be promoted on 164 bus shelters in New York City from September 26 to October 23. Also, Internationally acclaimed pianist and New York City resident Lang Lang will serve as New York City’s first-ever New York City Cultural Tourism Ambassador. Lang Lang, who has a home in Manhattan, and is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, announced his partnership with NYC & Company via a video statement in Shanghai.