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...

place branding

Grand Central On Track for 2013 Centennial with New Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2012 06:05 PM

New York’s Grand Central Station doesn’t turn 100 until next year but it is already throwing itself a party. The Big Apple's landmark train station this week unveiled a new logo. Yes, we know — who knew it even had an old one?

You can bet that a few of the 750,000 daily commuters that come through the 80,000-square-foot place had some idea. The new one features “an image of the big clock that's a popular meeting spot in the marble-paved main concourse,” the AP notes.

Grand Central currently is home only to the Metro North train line as well as sitting on top of a slew of subway lines. However, even more folks will be coming through the terminal in 2016, when the new tunnels that will allow LIRR (Long Island Railroad) trains to come there will be completed.Continue reading...

place branding

Visit Haiti and Help Pay to Promote Visiting Haiti

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2012 05:17 PM

In January of 2010, the Caribbean island of Haiti was hit with a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that likely killed 220,000 or more people and devastated the country’s infrastructure.

The U.S. has forked over $2 billion to help Haiti rebuild and plenty of other countries and aid organizations have donated countless hours and dollars to the cause. Things have moved along enough in the past two years that Haiti is now trying to “rebrand itself from Caribbean disaster zone to tourism Mecca,” according to the Miami Herald.

“One South Beach-inspired businessman is installing the nation’s first rooftop infinite pool, three restaurants, and an eventual helipad,” the Herald reports, while the Best Western offers a spa and a shuttle to the airport that will make sure visitors don’t see the “more seedy parts” of the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Meanwhile, the airport is adding new immigration counters in the hopes that more arrivals will start coming.Continue reading...

place branding

Guest Post: Jay Wang on Brand USA as Nation Branding

Posted by Jay Wang on February 10, 2012 01:33 PM

Brand USA, a non-profit, public-private partnership, is to launch a global advertising campaign next month, as part of the country’s concerted effort in marketing tourism to the world. As its core mission, the organization, created in 2010, is to “encourage and inspire travelers to explore America’s boundless possibilities.”

While America’s image in the global political imagination has experienced ups and downs over the last decade, the U.S. has remained as a leading destination for international investment, education and, yes, tourism. In 2010, with nearly 60 million international visitors, the U.S. ranked second (only to France) in international tourist arrivals, and first in international tourism receipts. In-bound tourism has seen steady improvement since it hit a low in the aftermath of 9-11 and the ensuing war in Iraq.

Nevertheless, this campaign is important and timely. Symbolic as it may be, it sends an unmistakable signal reaffirming America’s openness and optimism, the very foundation of the country’s soft power.Continue reading...

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