Preserve Places That Made Connecticut Revolutionary
Branding: New ad campaign features state history and innovation
Hartford Courant Editorial
May 14, 2012
There's an adage in advertising that half the money is wasted — you just don't know which half. Former Gov.M. Jodi Relltook no chances — she eliminated both halves of the state's tourism marketing budget, even cutting the contribution to the Discover New England marketing effort, which then put out a map of New England that didn't include Connecticut.
Thankfully, Gov.Dannel P. Malloyhas reversed that pound-foolish policy and put Connecticut back on the map with a two-year, $27 million initiative to bolster tourism. On Monday, the governor unveiled part of that program, a new branding campaign titled "Still Revolutionary."
It is, as the French say, pas mal, not bad, especially when compared with some of the inanities of the past, such as "Better Yet Connecticut," which sacrificed content for assonance. "Still Revolutionary" suggests both the state's history and its tradition of invention and innovation. There are some marvelous images on the video (see http://www.ctvisit.com), notably of the Hartford Symphony.
Connecticut tourism generates about $11.5 billion in spending annually and $1.15 billion in state and local taxes and employs nearly 111,000 workers. There is no way of getting people to stop here, short of putting carpet tacks on the highway, if they aren't aware of what's here.
This campaign will project an image of a lovely historic place; what is needed is the state's commitment to that image. For years the state has been selling white-spired churches on village greens, country opera houses and hearty seaports — all the while building the same cookie-cutter subdivisions and strip-mall sprawl that can be found everywhere else. The brand must equal the product.
Let's commit to preserving the historical sites and open spaces that give the state its charm and make it worth visiting.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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