Well, maybe kinda...but in an interesting way.
That's the brand platform that Visit Bloomington IN (home to the University of Indiana) has been employing this year in its tourism advertising: a Blue Dot in a Red State.
Which, understandably, has some "experts" clucking that it's a sensationally bad idea. One such talking head from a competing creative agency said that you should never involve politics or religion in an ad campaign. And, I get that...but Mike McAfee and his Team at Visit Bloomington are clearly onto something powerful, as web traffic "has exploded," he said.
“For years, our message has been scattered,” Mike said. “It’s been one thing to one group and another to another group. We needed that consistent platform…that one thing we wanted Bloomington to be known for.”
Which, in these contentious times, will likely piss off half of one's potential consumer base.
Two thoughts on that:
First, appealing to 50% of the universe in a meaningful way is better than not giving 100% of your base a clear reason to visit. And, besides, a big swath of that red universe isn't who you want in your town anyway.
And, from a personal experience point of view, during my days at the DMO in Madison (another Blue Dot in a sometimes Red State), I always chuckled at the red folk that flocked to my blue city for State High School Championships. Back home, they'd decry my town as "The People's Republic of Madison."
But, they couldn't wait to follow their team to the Mad City. It was their "guilty pleasure," because their Northern Wisconsin town wasn't nearly as cool.
Something, no doubt, that Mike and his Team have tapped into, as well.