Shawshank, Motorsports, Wine & Ale Trail; you can Find It Here.
Lodging, Dining, Shopping; you can Find It Here.
Art, History, Nature; you can Find It Here …and now thanks to TourismOhio’s new branding initiative they are helping visitors find Ohio and Richland County too.
TourismOhio, Ohio’s state destination marketing organization, has launched a new brand concept “Ohio. Find it here.” Their tourism marketing programs have helped generate 200 million visitors to Ohio and $140 billion in sales in 2014 and this year are investing $6 million in marketing in Ohio and surrounding states to be sure people are aware “it” can be found in Ohio.
But What Is “It”?
Ohio isn’t known for sunny beaches or mouse inspired theme parks. We can’t boast about mile wide canyons or triangular hotels that beam light into space. So what is our it? What makes Ohio unique?
Maybe it’s sitting beside your dad at Mid Ohio Sports Car course watching your first Indy Car race. Or, the look on the face of a true movie fan as they realize they are standing in front of the real “Shawshank State Prison” at the Ohio State reformatory. Perhaps it is the annual “Nutcracker” you take your grandkids to watch at the historical Renaissance Theatres. Possibly it’s a hike at dawn on one of our beautiful nature trails.
Brand researchers have logged over 142 hours trying to reveal the answer to Ohio’s why us question? They spent months interviewing residents and visitors to discover their travel motivations. What was the conclusion? That “Ohio’s activities and attractions inspire real, honest and deep connections that last forever.”
“It” isn’t a person, place or thing. “It” is a feeling.
Ohio visitors want more than logoed t-shirts and ripped entry stubs. They want experiences that stay fresh in their minds long after the vacation is over.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR A PREVIEW
Will “It” Work?
OTA President Eric Hansen says, “A logo does not make a brand”. Just like a single icon has not made Ohio. It will not be a logo, or tag line that will inevitably draw people to us. We know that the right image will be remembered and a catchy slogan repeated but it will be our combined effort to put our best “it” forward that will continue to bring people here.
The Ohio Travel Association board is fully behind the brand. They applauded Tourism Ohio in their blog post and recognized the key to the success of this brand (or any), “it is now our responsibility to uphold the promises this brand makes of connecting with travelers. We can do that.”
And we support their efforts, Lee Tasseff President of Mansfield/Richland County Convention & Visitors Bureau explains, “It all starts with a visit, sharing the new branding is just sending the invitation.”
How Do We Help?
Simple. We share. We do our part to communicate a unified brand through our marketing plans but also with friends and neighbors.
The logo features the word Ohio inside an outline of the state, with the words “find it here”. On animated version the words “happiness,” “joy” and “excitement” appear at the bottom and inside a heart morphs into the shape of Ohio. The new brand officially replaces “Ohio, So Much To Discover,” which was introduced more than a decade ago. The new slogan will be used in ads, on the tourism department’s website and other promotional material.
As a tourism partner, here are the guidelines for using the new brand so you can share the message.
Our goal isn’t to be the newest image on a baseball cap but achieving that smile on someone’s face when they think about Ohio. Not only do we want them to find it here, but we want them to take a piece with them when they go and share it.