I usually cringe when I hear that a destination logo, slogan or song is going to be decided by a local contest. While there are the rare exceptions, the result is usually an ewww-inducing trainwreck.
Lake County IL, however, was able to knock their "Song Search" contest out of the park. The fan vote and judges agreed...local musician Dylan Kroll nailed the destination's essence. And, combined with Jake Jarvis' beautiful videography, it's a music video that has gone viral with 74,000 views on Facebook and YouTube since June 23rd.
The recent purchase of AOL by Verizon was said to be about AOL's digital content and online advertising prowess. But don't count out the annual revenues Verizon now owns from people who still get their internet via dial-up.
As we were boarding our flight home from Virginia's Blue Ridge Friday morning, the alert pinged my mobile device. The Supreme Court had just legalized same-sex marriage in America. And, as reported over the weekend on Skift, a lot of Destination Marketing Organizations and travel providers were ready with their media strategies.
But, the first in my e-mail box, within minutes of the news, was Visit Philly with the above image and video that says it all: "Let Wedding Bells Ring."
Over the past few weeks, the internet has been awash with pleas from 64 communities to vote for them in Outside magazine's "Best Town Ever" competition. We even got into the action when one of our clients (a quarterfinalist) asked us to spread the word on Facebook.
But, let's be real clear here. Chattanooga gets to call itself the "Best Town Ever" for the next year (or five), but it's not. It's the town with the Destination Marketing Organization that had the best communications plan to win the contest.
Chris Stanley / World of Business Ideas: Everything is moving so fast that Strategic Planning is being replaced by "Sense and Respond." We used to attempt to predict the future. Now we must be satisfied with recognizing patterns in the present. So, as Richard Branson says, "Screw it, Let's do it."
The need to be visionary is being replaced by the need to be a "Passionate Enabler." And, it's no longer the "Attention Economy," but the "Participation Economy." Thus, consumers need inspiration more than information. Another reason why Destination Attraction Listings are worthless and the curation of experiences is priceless.
Michela O'Connor Abrams / Dwell: You say print is dead? Then why have 7 major online plays started magazines in the past couple years? It's to target the almost 9 million Americans who are sensationally affluent and are preparing to spend billions this year (and the next, and the next). The focus of lifestyle plays (on any platform) should be the youngest Millennials and the oldest Boomers. But demographics is only a part of the equation, as psychographics are much more important. And, your Brand needs to be Anyplace, Anytime, Anywhere and on any platform.
Leslie Berland / American Express: The 2009 explosion of Social Media changed everything because, suddenly, junior staffers knew more than senior staffers. Not unlike Robin Riddle saying, at last year's Brandworks, that anything over 500 words is worthless, Leslie stressed that we need to communicate our message in as few words as possible. This will be especially important when we are all communicating with wearable devices that make it physically difficult to be verbose. The path forward is Prioritize, Differentiate and stay on the edge...in front.
To impresario Marsha Lindsay and the sensational LSB Team...congratulations on another Brandworks, exquisitely played. Gimme a few days to digest and plot our next moves, and then I'll be able to say that I can't wait for next year.
And DMO pros? Really...when we offer you our "friends and family" discount for next year's Brandworks University in the Z-News, jump on it.