Brand USA, the public-private partnership that has the goal of increasing U.S. tourism to 100 million visitors by 2021, made the first splash in AdLand by choosing Ogilvy PR as its global media relations agency of record.
Though the press release claims that it was competitive, Ogilvy PR already had one foot in the door as Brand USA's media partner since December of 2013. At least the partnership still announced the promotion; it's a nice win for Ogilvy PR.
Of course, one has to think — how exactly will Ogilvy position the U.S. in international media? How will the agency accurately portray the U.S. as a top travel destination? With a country just a bit over 200 years old, what attractive and appealing elements can Brand USA and Ogilvy use to get even more visitors? The shopping? Low tariffs?
Don't forget, the U.S. has been the "international police" in terms of military combat for some time, and Ogilvy and Brand USA will have to mount a credible offense to deflect the negative press in some areas of the world.
All around, it sounds like an absolutely fascinating case to be involved in.
We were fortunate to have a team compete in the Brand NC project, a competition that wanted teams to think of ways that the North Carolina Department of State could rebrand North Carolina. Very similar to Brand USA, just on the state level, with the participants assisting in guiding the brand.
Note: We are by no means advocating to Brand USA that they should ask "What makes the USA the USA?" Please don't do that.
But the group can use the new year to change up its strategy. For example, its social media sharing can definitely improve. They're the foremost organization for U.S. Tourism, and the holiday greeting card they posted on YouTube, which has been posted for 13 days at the writing of this post, has only had 36 views.
They can do better.
We are sure they will. Looking forward to seeing much more of Brand USA in 2015.
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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