Canadians invited to discover America

Brand USA has rolled out its first global marketing campaign that forgoes scenes of famous landscapes and highlights the unfamiliar instead.
Brand USA image 1

Given that the majority of what we see on TV originates from the US, it’s not much of stretch for Canadians to feel as though they’re familiar with what America has to offer travellers.

But there’s a whole other face to the States, Gail Reisman, VP, advertising, Brand USA, tells MiC, and it’s one that the tourism brand plans to show off in its first-ever global marketing campaign.

Discover this land, like never before,” is a $12.3 million marketing campaign launched in countries including Canada, the UK and Japan with creative from JWT in New York. Media planning and purchasing of the TV, print, digital and OOH elements was handled by MediaCom Canada in the Canadian market.

“The US, unlike most other countries in the world, has never had a global marketing campaign that promoted [itself] as a whole,” explains Reisman. “Individual destinations, whether they’re regions or cities or states, have campaigned both domestically here in the US and, to a smaller degree, internationally. But in 2010, President Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act, which allowed our organization to promote the States and drive and increase tourism to the US.”

Canada, in particular, offers a huge opportunity for its neighbour. The close proximity and ease of entry has led to high numbers of Canuck tourists, says Reisman, adding that research done during development of the campaign showed that Canadians, who either frequently visit or have never visited the States before both have a high affinity for the country.

“[But] most consumers feel like they know us very well and perhaps we don’t seem as exciting as other destinations that have more mystery,” she says, adding that to capture travellers’ attention, the tourism brand decided to boost the profile of its unfamiliar scenery.

“Our TV and print media mix focuses on not only showing the iconic destinations in new ways but also showing the off-the-beaten-path locations across the country, which I think is particular important for the Canadian campaign. Because if Canadians have travelled to some of the more tried-and-true locations, then there is a variety of [others] that they can choose from.”

The “Land of Dreams” commercial, with the theme song played by Rosanne Cash, daughter of American music legend Johnny Cash, veers away from singing praises of expected American backdrops. Instead of famous landmarks and buildings, the spot touts luxuriant forests, fields, and cultural scenes. Reisman notes that the TV ad will air as a 60-second spot in Canada, 40-second in the UK and 15-second in Japan “due to market dynamics.”

“We’re trying to rekindle the world’s love affair with America,” she adds. “Over the past ten years there has been a lot that has transpired with respect to the economy and security, and America has lost share of the global travel market. We want to make sure that we’re doing everything in our power to regain that, so what’s behind the campaign is showing the United States in ways that has never been shown before.”