Congress put together the Corporation for Travel Promotion last year, in an attempt to market the country to international travellers, according to the New York Times. Apparently, it wasn’t working as well as it could.
So, the organisation is rebranding as Brand USA, and it’s encouraging international tourists to “Discover America.”
This isn’t a small-time operation — there’s big money going into it. It’s the start of a huge new global marketing campaign that will cost an estimated $200 million (which it says it plans to raise mostly from non-taxpayer sources), reports the NYT.
Brand USA execs are also looking to launch their first ad campaign by March, and they’re planning to go all out in social media and mobile. They’ve already got a Facebook page, Twitter feed and ‘insider’ bloggers.
Is it going to work?
Well, the Brand USA folks sure seem enthusiastic about it. International visitation steadily increased throughout the past decade, dipping in 2009 but rebounding last year.
The website is executed well, not only featuring specific destinations but adding plenty of information about experiences at each place. Also, the Corporation for Travel Promotion was a terrible name for a project trying to lure in regular consumers. It sounded too much like a generic, big evil corporation.
But it does all seem a bit cheesy. The tagline “The United States of awesome possibilities welcomes everyone” sounds too much like a father trying to be ‘hip’ to connect with his teenage kids.
What do you think? Smart marketing move or just a massive waste of cash?
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