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Rebranding Africa, Fashionably, With Help From Vogue Italia

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 21, 2012 11:04 AM

Africa hasn’t received much good press in recent years. Such things as genocide, child soldiers, elephant slaughters, and human trafficking can do that for a continent, overshadowing any good news and efforts.

However, the continent is attempting to rebrand itself, according to the International Herald Tribune.

“They are not my own words — they come from Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan — but I do believe in the ‘rebranding’ of Africa,” said Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia, to the IHT about the May/June issue of L'Uomo Vogue that focuses on the continent.

The cover of Vogue's Italian men's fashion magazine, shown at right, features Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations — not your typical cover story.

“Africa does not need charity — Africa needs investment and partnership,” Ban Ki-moon states in the magazine, as translated by the IHT. “Joining forces with civil society and private sector, including non-traditional players, like the fashion industry, has become indispensable. Sustainable development is my top priority.”Continue reading...

place branding

Atlantic City Woos Tourists, and Not for Gambling

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2012 10:01 AM

Competition for locals looking to book "nearcations" in New York City's tri-state area is heating up. While the Big Apple doesn't need much help on the marketing front, Connecticut just launched its big tourism campaign. Now New Jersey's fabled Atlantic City is wooing northeastern residents to visit — and not for the reasons you might think. 

The Atlantic City Alliance, a non-profit funded and operated by local casinos, is focused on increasing tourism by pitching. The marketing challenge: how to promote a city synonymous with gambling without focusing on casinos? The strategy: woo potential visitors on the city's other charms, as part of a campaign titled "Do Anything. Do Everything."Continue reading...

place branding

Connecticut Rolls Out Still Revolutionary Tourism Platform

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2012 01:02 PM

The state of Connecticut unveiled a new tourism platform around the tagline ‘Still Revolutionary’ this week. The new place branding campaign, which kicked off Monday, is described as a two-year, $27 million dollar initiative to bolster travel and the northeastern state's image and coffers.

Unveiled by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, and Deputy Commissioner Kip Bergstrom, ‘Still Revolutionary’ emerged from a crowdsourcing effort that asked more than 1,500 residents (and businesses, such as Stew Leonards), “What’s Your Connecticut Story?” The project gathered locals' thoughts on what they love most about living, working, and playing in Connecticut.Continue reading...

place branding

South Korea Aims to Rebrand the DMZ

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 9, 2012 01:02 PM

When the Korean War ended close to sixty years ago, the two sides agreed to create a four-kilometer demilitarized buffer zone between the two countries, an area that would be without military equipment or anything else. Plenty of soldiers are nearby, of course, but the area has grown into a pristine, untouched environment.

So untouched, in fact, that when author Alan Weisman released the excellent 2007 book The World Without Us, in which he tries to figure out what would happen to the planet if humans just somehow all disappeared one day, he visited the DMZ to get clues of what happens to land that’s gone without human intervention.

That natural image of the DMZ is what South Korea is trying to emphasize in a rebranding effort for what former US President Bill Clinton called "the scariest place on Earth," according to the BBC.Continue reading...

place branding

Live Free and Blank: New Hampshire Attempts a Rebrand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 16, 2012 11:01 AM

The state of New Hampshire loves its tourists. After all, tourism is where a good chunk of the state’s cash comes from. In 2011, those nickels and dimes added up to more than $4.2 billion. Looks like nobody can exactly do the first part of the state’s historic motto, "Live Free or Die."

(And what's the point of encouraging potential tourists to do the second part?)

Because of that, the state is looking to draw in more tourists and launched an advertising campaign Thursday that hopes to help potential visitors think of New Hampshire in new ways, according to the Associated Press. Part of the new tourism push includes a play on that old motto.Continue reading...

place branding

Branding Brooklyn: A Filmmaker's Ode to BK/NY

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 2, 2012 04:01 PM

To most of the world, Brooklyn is a place that once was home to Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers. For all time, it’s been mostly envisioned culturally as a working-class, ethnic-rich borough filled with (depending on the era) plenty of kids playing stickball, unbelievable street basketball, Mafioso, or young toughs. Like Saturday Night Fever’s Tony Manero, everybody in Brooklyn is supposedly looking to get across the Bridge into a supposedly bigger, better, brighter life.

Throughout time, though, there are plenty that have been perfectly happy staying in Brooklyn. You can tell from some of the street signs welcoming motorists there: “Believe the Hype!” “Welcome to Brooklyn – Home to Everyone From Everywhere!” “Name It…We Got It!” Not to mention the ones that some motorists see as they leave the borough: “Oy Vey!” or “Fuhgeddaboudit.”

These are likely the work of work of Borough President/Head Cheerleader Marty Markowitz, but there is another man who is also working to help showcase the borough’s brand: filmmaker Dustin Cohen, who is paying tribute to Brooklyn's artisans and heritage through a series of short films.Continue reading...

place branding

$4-a-Gallon Gas? Pshaw! Get Your Kicks on Route 66 - Or Anywhere in Michigan

Posted by Dale Buss on March 30, 2012 01:01 PM

High gasoline prices be damned. America's tourism operators smell not only spring but also summer in the air, and they're gearing up for a business season that seems to hold the most promise of any in several years.

Rising auto sales and other indicators suggest Americans will be more active travelers this year than last year even if they have to pay $4 a gallon or more for the gasoline to get there. And among other locales, tourism operators in economically struggling Michigan, as well as the many small towns and dusty little museums along Route 66, want you to know they're open for business.

In Michigan, a state-sponsored study just found that last summer's Pure Michigan national-advertising campaign, featuring voiceovers by Tim Allen, attracted a record number of out-of-state visitors to the "beautiful peninsula" last year. The $14-million campaign motivated more than 3 million trips to the state and a projected $1 billion in spending at state businesses, the study found.Continue reading...

place branding

Can a Town Rebrand From Its Racist Past?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 28, 2012 04:36 PM

American civil rights tourism is starting to be big business. The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is in the midst of a $27 million reno that’ll be finished in 2013 and the Smithsonian is opening a $500 million National Museum of African American History in D.C. in 2014, the same year that the $100 million National Center for Civil & Human Rights is set to open in Atlanta. 

All that said, there are still some places that haven’t quite gotten to the museum-building part yet and are still just trying to just shake their own awful pasts. One Arkansas town that ran most of its black residents out of town back in 1905, burning down homes and shooting out windows, is hoping to let bygones be bygones and recast itself. The small town of Harrison, Arkansas, is now trying to rebrand itself now as a place that’s open to minorities of all stripes, the Associated Press reports.

In a town of 13,000, there are currently only 34 visible minorities that currently live in Harrison, but the town would like to draw more residents and businesses regardless of skin color, the AP adds. Town leaders have created a task force on race relations, invited a civil-rights speaker come in, and printed posters about the city’s past difficulties. But is it all whitewashing?Continue reading...

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