The quest for changing the image of America in order to boost tourism numbers continues. In late 2014, we brought you word that Brand USA boosted Ogilvy PR to its global media partner in order for the agency to oversee its press operations and coverage across the globe. The goal was to make sure the messaging across all global platforms was positive and consistent.
Now, with the public relations taken care of, Brand USA is looking to bolster its creative component. It was recently announced that the partnership is looking for a creative agency that will help its advertising and image across nearly a dozen countries, with hopeful "community managers" within each population.
We continue to follow this because it is interesting to see how the tourism partnership positions itself beyond its borders. We're not sure how the "Discover: America" campaign went — we are not privy to the evaluation of the campaign — but no announcement regarding a rise in tourism suggests that the results were meager at best.
But what about tourism within America? With the less-than-favorable news coming out about race relations and basic intolerance, it is hard to imagine how eager people are now to step out of their comfort zones in order to experience a new part of America.
Just don't be black, wear a hoodie, and make sure to keep your hands out of your pockets. Enjoy America!
Brand USA needs to open up not just a robust international presence but a domestic presence as well. If tourists from abroad see how excited other Americans are about seeing new places within their homeland, that enthusiasm can travel to the people the tourists talk to once they return home. It is better to create positive energy everywhere, instead of solely injecting it externally, when the positive energy, the positive image of America, is so desperately needed internally.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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