A Revolutionary State Marketing Campaign?
History is the main theme behind the 2-year, $27 million tourism project
If Connecticut’s new marketing campaign is any indication, we’re a state filled with “history.”
History is the main theme behind the 2-year, $27 million tourism project - which now has the tagline, “Connecticut: Still Revolutionary.” It’s meant to capitalize not just on our role in the revolutionary war as well as the revolutionary thinkers, builders and tinkerers our state has been home to.
For those who want to capitalize in our tri-cornered hat past - this new slogan is a boon. For those who wanted something a bit more...well, “revolutionary” it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Today we checked in with a few folks who went public with their initial reactions to the campaign. Jacques Lamarre from The Mark Twain House wanted to give some context to this campaign, considering the state's history with the infamous $1 tourism budget under Governor Jodi Rell. "Anything, as a baseline, is better than what we had," he said. "To have something that looks as solid as it does for something that was turned around so quickly shows that they weren't going to wait. They were going to be aggressive about getting something, anything out there in time for the summer tourism boom."
Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green was not impressed (although he admitted the ad "grows on you.") While Green is happy the state is spending money on this, he isn't happy with the "Still" in the slogan "Still Revolutionary." "It projects to the world, ya know, you're not going to find anything unexpected here," he said, "Which I think is a disservice because the great thing about Connecticut is that there is so much unexpected here."
Kip Bergstrom, Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Economic and Community Development, defended the state's campaign. He mentioned the "evocative" venue sites and the subtle storylines in the new ad. The ad targets multiple audiences - bothConnecticut residents, and those the state hopes to attract to visit and live here. He explained that "None of the states of the 13 original colonies, including Massachusetts, have claimed the position of history as the basis for their state identity and tourism marketing. Nobody's done it, so it's out there for us to grab."
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was tweeting his opinions on the new marketing campaign. On the show he applauded the fact that the state is putting money into tourism, but he was not so sure about the message. "Is it about tourism or economic development?" He asked. "When you try to serve two masters you do neither well."
Bergstrom once again defended the brand as being "developed by a Connecticut firm," the Harrison Group in Waterbury - although Chowder, Inc, a New York firm, came up with the slogan and directed the TV commercials.