Monday, May 19, 2014

What do the beaches of South Carolina have in common with the new Porsche Macan?

Well, both were recently advertised in distinctive window displays at the world-famous Harrods store in London. As Harrods Media Director, Guy Cheston, says "Harrods' iconic exhibition windows are one of the most sought after and visited retail display areas in the world,” so it is refreshing to see marketers of South Carolina reach out to potential international travelers in such an innovative fashion. The initiative was partly funded by Brand USA, the organization established by the 2009 Travel Promotion Act to spearhead the nation’s first global marketing effort to promote the US as a premier travel destination. Brand USA is funded through a fee on tourists from the 37 countries whose citizens don’t require a visa to visit the US (called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization – ESTA - program). The organization is allowed to use up to $100 million a year, provided it obtains matching contributions from its private partners in the travel and tourism industry. In addition to the window displays, South Carolina was also promoted on the store’s multi-media video displays, in its 500,000 circulation publication, and on the side of its trademark green double decker buses. If you would like to know more about Brand USA, I published a white paper recently in the Journal of Destination Management & Marketing that digs a little deeper:

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