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china

China Panda Ambassadors (and a Little Gangnam) Put Chengdu on the Map

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2012 12:14 PM

Looking to boost its profile globally, one city deep in China's interior turned to its most famous resident: The Panda.

Earlier this year, the “Pambassador” campaign was born, a project aimed at reinventing Chengdu as an economically sustainable, friendly city open to the world. Pambassador stunts have managed to spoof the royal family (upsetting a few Brits in the process), dance Gangnam in London, and "go wild" in Hong Kong while racking up over 404,000 fans on Facebook, hundreds of thousands of YouTube views and 60,000 commitments  worldwide from people looking to live in Chengdu.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...

political season

Maryland Takes Historic Marriage Equality Victory to Digital

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2012 12:54 PM

In an historic victory, Maryland upheld the legalization of same-sex marriage yesterday and the city of Baltimore has jumped on board with a dedicated microsite for same-sex couples eager to get hitched, just as New York State reached out to LGBT couples looking to get married last year.

All the details are in one place, such as how to obtain a marriage license, wedding venues and vendors, and information on TAG-approved accommodations. "We encourage the LGBT community to visit Baltimore to celebrate their commitments to one another," said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. "As a city, we have long been proud to support the rights and equality of our visitors, and the legalization of same-sex marriage is another important step forward." 

The Maryland referendum (Question 6) asked voters in the state's general election on November 6 to vote "For" or "Against" the Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed by the Maryland General Assembly in February 2012 and signed on March 1, 2012, by Governor Martin O'Malley permitting same-sex couples to marry beginning January 1, 2013.Continue reading...

brandcameo

Turkey, Lebanon and Fargo Branded By Hollywood Product Placement

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 29, 2012 05:04 PM

Hawaii's St. Regis Princeville Resort (The Descendants), Bruges, Belgium (In Bruges), Forks, Washington (Twilight) and New York's Museum of natural History (Night at the Museum) would all attest to the power of location-based product placement. The marketing potential that appearing in a Hollywood picture can bring to a particular location. But that swings the other way.

Some in Lebanon are upset about how it was depicted in the Showtime terrorism-themed drama Homeland; so upset they're pondering a lawsuit against the producers. Then, tourism officials a world away in Fargo, North Dakota are nervously anticipate the launch of a new series based on the cult favorite film Fargo, a movie many in the city have just started warming up to. But neither have a complaint as large as Turkey, maybe the most smeared location in Hollywood history.

Now, in 2012, Turkey is onscreen in two huge new films. One has already proven not to Turkey's liking. Will the new James Bond film finally reverse 34 years of Hollywood history for Turnkey?Continue reading...

political season

Interview: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Discusses State Branding Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2012 06:47 PM

If you're a Republican politician in the Upper Midwest, you may appreciate what Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, has done to advance the cause of GOP politics, balanced state budgets, restraints on taxes and anti-unionism with his efforts to roll back the costs and power of public-sector unions. But for some of the same reasons, you probably aren't eager to see an aggressive "Brand Wisconsin" trying to get the companies in your state to expand or relocate in the Badger State.

Nevertheless, Walker himself is spearheading "In Wisconsin," a state branding and advertising campaign that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is promoting to try to lure more companies and jobs toward the Cheesehead State. The WEDC will spend $2 million this year on the campaign featuring well-known Wisconsin-based brands such as Organic Valley, Schneider National, Rockwell Automation, and Trek Bicycles, including web-only videos and print ads running in Illinois and the Twin Cities as well as Wisconsin. The new platform features an image of the state with the word "in" highlighted.

"We can offer a great deal to many companies that are looking to grow," Walker told brandchannel. "The pitch isn't just that we've got great [relocation] incentives but that our long-term bonds are strong, our budget is balanced, and our taxes are going down."Continue reading...

luxury watch

Mulberry Fosters National Pride With "Brilliant Britain"

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2012 05:25 PM

Remember the UK's swinging Cool Britannia nation branding effort under Prime Minister Tony Blair? Now Mulberry is looking to revive pride in all things British with its just-launched Brilliant Britain Guide

Sub-titled "a guide to a truly great nation," it's a branded content marketing move to continue the celebratory year that 2012 represents for the United Kingdom, from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to a successful Olympics and Paralympics (despite Mitt Romney’s concerns). Could there be a better year to be a Brit?Continue reading...

place branding

Is ANA Underselling Japan's Charms With "Is Japan Cool?" Campaign?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2012 12:24 PM

The "Is Japan Cool?" campaign from All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline, aims to lure Americans to fly ANA and visit Japan. Unlike the UK's cocky (and to some, uncool) "Cool Brittania" campaign in the late 90's, it's a rhetorical question that peddles Japan's charms with a soft sell. Some might argue, too soft of a sell.

The goal of the “Cool Campaign,” now in its second phase, is to help Americans more easily understand places in Japan through pictures and videos mapping locations and enlightening visitors about cultural institutions, tourist attractions and quirkier trends (Cosplay, anyone?)Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Seiko Woos New Yorkers With NYC-Inspired Watch Collection

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 21, 2012 12:37 PM

For more than 130 years, Seiko has been helping people across the globe get to meetings, dates, and other social engagements on time. And like all watch-makers these days, the challenge is to get people to wear their brands when we're so used to glancing at our phones for a time check.

For such a basic accoutrement, Seiko has aways aimed to innovate. The company lays claim to a number of firsts: the first quartz watch, the first multifunction digital watch, the first TV watch, the first watch with sound-recording functions, and the world’s first watch driven by body heat. They even just churned out the first solar-powered watch that can set its own time via GPS so anybody who travels a lot won’t have to keep resetting it.

All of these innovations have been housed in a wide variety of designs. Now the Seiko brand is turning to New York City to inspire its latest line, the XNY, which is being sold exclusively at Macy’s. According to a press release, the XNY “watches reflect the youthful energy, artistic diversity and powerful strength of New York City.”

Naturally, any New York-inspired timepiece would come in black.Continue reading...

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