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“The Brand USA” Aims to “Rekindle The Love Affair” With Global Ad Push

Published on April 24, 2012

The Brand USA,” the new tourism marketing entity responsible for promoting the United States to world visitors, unveiled the USA’s first-ever comprehensive marketing campaign today during a press conference at International Pow Wow, the largest U.S. travel trade show held this week in Los Angeles. The campaign showcases the diversity of experiences available in the United States in a fresh and unexpected light, inviting visitors to “Discover this land, like never before.”

“Our goal is nothing short of rekindling the world’s love affair with the USA – the place, the spirit and the dream,” said Brand USA CEO Jim Evans. “We want to spread America’s message of welcome around the world and invite travelers to experience the limitless possibilities the United States has to offer. So we asked ourselves, ‘how can we best speak to multiple countries, across countless languages and cultures?’ We found the answer lay in the only truly universal language—music.”

The Theme Song
Rosanne Cash, daughter of American music legend Johnny Cash and Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, has composed an original song, “Land of Dreams,” to serve as the heart of the campaign. Initial advertisements feature Cash playing the song under New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, accompanied by musicians from around the world. As part of its marketing efforts, Brand USA will extend invitations to musical artists from around the world to come perform their music in their favorite U.S. cities and towns, profiling their trips and favorite things about the USA online and through social media. A YouTube channel is live already, with just two in-house videos, but visitors will be invited to upload their own.

Brand USA, which created the campaign in partnership with JWT, the organization’s agency of record, will employ a fully integrated marketing strategy, using a mix of 60-, 20- and 15-second television spots, as well as digital, billboard and print advertisements and a robust online presence and social media strategy to reach potential visitors. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages will showcase country specific promotions and engagements and the newly re-launched website DiscoverAmerica.com will act as visitors’ information portal for trip planning. The YouTube channel is live, with just a few videos, including the promo spot

“Other countries around the world have prioritized tourism efforts for years, yet in the 236 years since the United States of America was founded, this country has never had a nationally coordinated effort dedicated to inviting travelers to come visit us,” said Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman of Brand USA’s Board of Directors. “That changes today. This new campaign will tap into an incredibly valuable economic resource – the millions of visitors who want to experience all that our great country has to offer.”

The first wave of advertising launches in-market May 1st in the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada, with a budget of $12.3 million for the first three months. A second wave will follow in Brazil and South Korea, with several other markets to follow.

Brand USA was created as a result of the U.S. Travel Promotion Act, federal legislation passed in March 2010 which established a public-private partnership between the travel industry and the U.S. government dedicated to increasing international visitation to the U.S. through marketing and promotional efforts to drive job creation and spur economic growth. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the average overseas visitor to the United States spends $4,000 per trip, and 35 incremental overseas visitors supports one new U.S. job.

International Pow Wow, which is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from April 21 through April 24, draws more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations and 1,200 international and domestic travel buyers from more than 70 countries. Together, these buyers and sellers will negotiate business that will generate an estimated $3.5 billion in future USA travel.