Relying on flexible, simple, low-cost campaigns

NJBIZ STAFF//May 23, 2011//

Relying on flexible, simple, low-cost campaigns

NJBIZ STAFF//May 23, 2011//

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One of the region’s most iconic branding campaigns was actually designed to be a low-cost effort.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp.’s iconic “With Love, Philadelphia XOXO” campaign, which features snarky “hand-written” notes from “Philadelphia,” brought in $100 in tourism spending for every dollar spent on the campaign, according to a study by Longwoods International.
Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp., said while the campaign has been a huge success, it was designed to be relatively inexpensive.

“It’s two colors — black and red — so you cut down on cost right there,” she said. “It doesn’t use photographic images, although it can, and in some cases we do. It’s short, so that it’s very adaptable, whether you’re putting it on a billboard or a little bumper or in a newspaper. It works in social media as well.”

The campaign is also flexible and simple enough that the agency can make versions of the ad in-house in response to current events.
When Cliff Lee re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, the agency put up a “welcome home” billboard featuring a note telling Lee, “I promised myself I wouldn’t get choked up.”

When Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was being courted for same position in Chicago earlier this year, the campaign asked Ramsey “What would Cliff Lee do?”
Levitz said the campaign also maximized its effectiveness by focusing on areas where travelers already are — such as train stations — and using big events to generate free publicity.

Earlier this year, for instance, the agency launched an operation called “Station Domination,” installing 225 promotional ads at New York’s Penn Station, and later repeating the stunt at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.

“We got a lot of play from that — it was all over,” Levitz said. “People just found it so captivating, we got a lot of tweets, and texts, and fans, and likes, and friends from people who just thought it was a very cool thing to do.”

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