RE-brand USA

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded  |

Brand USA. Or should I say, RE-brand USA. A public organization called Corporate Travel Promotion (CTP) is set to launch a new logo, website and marketing campaign. Their goal is to encourage global tourism to the United States. CTP’s marketing budget is $200 million. What you see here is the new logo. Here is their rationale for the logo: The group said in a press release that the dots in the campaign’s logo create a “21st-century brand” which “symboliz[es] the boundless possibilities of the U.S.,” as well as representing America’s “diversity.”

Here’s more from CTP’s Chris Perkins: “What is so compelling about the United States is that no one thing can explain who we are as a nation. Each visitor and each experience helps create the fabric of American culture, and Brand USA embodies this spirit. When we launch our global marketing and advertising campaign next year, we will be able to reach audiences around the world by showcasing the best of America and spreading the message that we welcome visitors with open arms.”

Here are my thoughts:

• Logo – I understand the idea of diversity, but the colors stray completely away from the brand colors of the United States, which is recognizable around the world. It would be like Coke changed their red to purple. It doesn’t make any sense. Also, the dots can be interpreted as a nation falling apart. I don’t think dots make it a “21-century brand” since dot matrix was common in the 1960’s.

• Marketing campaign – The main question is why? As far as I know, people from around the world are still wanting to visit America. I haven’t heard of any “boycott America” campaigns lately. It doesn’t mean we don’t have our flaws and real areas of improvement. We do, but it’s not like people are risking life and limb to get across the border just to get out of America. According to, the United States is the second most visited country in the world (France being #1).

• Web site –  I think the web site is good. Informative, interesting and I like the large type that addresses the majority population of most of the world who is aging.

From CTP’s viewpoint, this is to help spur economic growth and job creation. Now, I’m a full believer in branding and marketing (that’s what I do), but I also know when to advise clients about better ways to achieve a desired marketing goal. If I were the ad agency for CTP, I would advise them to use their money differently. Thought I don’t know their creative approach on the marketing side, it just doesn’t seem like a good investment of dollars if the goal is economic growth. By boosting past France to take the #1 spot won’t mean a huge windfall of revenue to make that much of a difference in our economy. There are better ways to spend the $200 million to increase revenue and job creation.

This is one example of using the wrong strategy to achieve a certain goal regardless of the creative approach in the marketing campaign. Then again, I’m not the agency who is getting $200 million to produce this campaign either.

I would love your thoughts on the logo, web site, and if a marketing campaign is even needed.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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