nation brands

Brand USA Weathers Washington Turbulence, Advances in the House

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2014 10:01 AM

US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), once the Republican vice-presidential candidate way back in 2012, did not win himself many fans in the travel industry in April when he showed off the House Republican Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Resolution and it didn’t contain one blessed penny for Brand USA, the public-private partnership that launched in 2012 and helps market America to foreign visitors and the travel industry around the world.

“This budget recommends ending these subsidies and eliminating the new agency because it is not a core responsibility of the federal government to pay for and conduct advertising campaigns for any industry. Moreover, the travel industry can and should pay for the advertising that it benefits from," the document stated, according to Travel Weekly.

Ryan, apparently, did not have enough support this time around, either, because the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week unanimously approved legislation that will fund Brand USA again, Travel Weekly notes. Some changes were made dealing with oversight but the organization still receives essentially the same $100 million chunk of change.Continue reading...

nation brands

Canada Uses the Crowd to Bring In the Crowd

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2012 02:12 PM

The Canadian Tourism Commission must be sick of selling the same old images — charming as they are — of the cobblestone streets of Quebec City, Toronto’s CN Tower, Montreal’s cathedrals, Vancouver’s Lookout, people playing hockey or skiing, Mounties on horseback, and random creatures (moose! geese!) in the wild.

The CTC knew there was a lot more out there to sell but they didn’t have the resources to dig them all up and sift through every last thing so they got with the times and crowdsourced their efforts. And when Canada crowdsources, it doesn’t go halfway.

The CTC’s 35 Million Directors project last summer asked all of its residents to take pictures and video of the things they love about where they live and send them in. A wealth of new material, more than 8,000 entries, poured into the CTC’s offices and now the organization has debuted its first ad in the campaign, using material from its contributors.Continue reading...

digital advertising

Oh Canada: How Tweet it Is

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 9, 2010 03:00 PM

If you've been suffering through the heat in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles this week, you may have caught a glimpse of a glimmering mirage — a vision of clean, crisp, cool ... Canada, as played up on a series of "digital storescapes" concocted by the country's tourism body in partnership with DDB Canada.

In a bid to lure tourists north of the border, the interactive displays feature tweets from Canadian vacationers having a whale of a time (but hopefully not a fail whale, given Twitter's recent meltdowns).Continue reading...

product placement

Location Product Placement: Who Wins?

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 16, 2010 11:00 AM

There's a long-running debate about whether the tax breaks that U.S. states extend to films shot within their borders produce legitimate ROI. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue estimates that it's getting back only 16 cents for every dollar in tax credits it gives out.

Add more fuel to the fire in the form of branding. The New York Times tells the tale of a zombie film denied tax credits in Michigan on the basis that it is "unlikely to promote tourism in Michigan or to present or reflect Michigan in a positive light." The filmmaker says he may now take his production elsewhere (ironically, to Massachusetts).

How can the Michigan authority know, before seeing any footoage or understanding the target audience, whether or not a film will promote tourism? Also, what exactly is "a positive light?" Like any other "product," positive light is in the eye of the beholder.Continue reading...

nation brands

Obama's Nobel Shows America's Brand Rebound

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 12, 2009 06:03 PM

Even as the United States was still smarting from Chicago's rejection in the first round of voting for the location of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which went to Rio de Janeiro, a new drama was unfolding. On Friday, the world was stunned by the news that Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, only the third sitting US president to receive such an honor.

Reaction came fast and furious from both U.S. and global pundits. Predictably, Obama boosters were delighted and Barack bashers were scornful. But the decision of the five-person Norwegian Nobel committee was unanimous. Geir Lundestad told the Financial Times: "We definitely feel that Obama has changed the international climate and contributed far more than any other candidate to fraternity among nations."Continue reading...

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nation brands

US-Canada Trade War Threatens Core Brands

Posted by Reneé Alexander on September 17, 2009 10:12 AM

When is a free trade agreement not a free trade agreement? In the wake of “Buy American” provisions contained in Washington’s $787 billion stimulus plan, some companies on both sides of the 49th parallel are wondering.

Designed to give U.S. firms a leg up on foreign competitors, as the country struggles to recover from the biggest downturn since the Great Depression, the provisions are accused of seriously denting the biggest trade relationship both countries have, and of defying the 1988 Free Trade Agreement. Canadian critics warn that unilaterally breaking a treaty damages the core U.S. brand, since international trade depends on relationships and trust.Continue reading...

nation brands

"Freedom Tape": Scottish Brands In Trouble?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 15, 2009 11:38 AM

Reports that Harris Tweed will be downplaying the "Scottishness" of its brand—in the wake of a purported backlash against all things Scottish due to its release of the Lockerbie bomber—are apparently unfounded.

Brand boycotts can serve a specific purpose. Nestlé is the target of a massive boycott due to “more violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods than any other company,” and even the popular POM Wonderful brand faced a PETA boycott over animal testing. But boycotting all the brands of a particular country for the purported sins of some government officials can often lead to “freedom fries”-like silliness.Continue reading...

nation brands

China's Militaristic Celebration Undermines Last Year's Friendly Face

Posted by Laura Fitch on September 14, 2009 04:59 PM

China’s upcoming 60th national day celebrations are an exercise in public perception.

Last year, the government focused on showing China’s best face to the world during the Olympics, with friendly volunteers assisting hapless tourists an increased press freedom (at least officially, if not in practice). Ads featuring smiling athletes and television commercials espousing world peace and harmony. This year, however, the message is a little different, as the Associated Press reported. Continue reading...

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