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Play On Branding Campaign

SCC-JessicaWaldronThe Jackson County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) is excited to announce the launch of the “Play On” branding campaign.  Designed to attract target markets to the county’s unique attractions and amenities and to inspire the loyalty of existing residents and future visitors, the campaign includes advertising, marketing, public relations, social media, a redesigned logo, and a rebranded Website (www.mountainloversnc.com) to position Jackson County as a premiere tourist destination among outdoor enthusiasts.  New social media channels include Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Jackson County offers pristine hiking and biking trails, cascading waterfalls, a fly fishing trail, nationally acclaimed culinary talent, an antique trail, and more.  Located between the Great Smoky Mountains to the north and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the south, the idyllic mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire make up Jackson County. “The new branding strategy was developed to encourage travelers to make Jackson County the destination of their next outdoor adventure or vacation instead of a ‘stop over’ on the way to a different destination,” said Robert Jumper, chairman of the Jackson County TDA.  “The ‘Play On’ campaign highlights the area’s stunning natural resources and other exciting entertainment options for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and mountain lovers.” The “Play On” campaign is part of a comprehensive initiative by the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority with the professional guidance of internet marketing firm, Innsights; advertising firm, The Brandon Agency, and public relations agency, Pineapple Public Relations.  The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority was developed in January 2013 by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in an effort to create a strategic marketing plan to enhance the tourism industry in JacksonCounty.

Concerns over Jackson County Tourism Authority Slogan “Play On”

During the recent meeting of Jackson County’s Tourism Authority board members further discussed their thoughts on the recent adoption of the slogan “Play On” to be the center of their ongoing marketing campaign to draw additional tourism dollars to the area. As previously reported several weeks ago the board voted on several options of campaign slogans that were developed by Virginia based marketing firm BCF. BCF was not only contracted for the upcoming slogan for the campaign, but to aid in market research and development of visual logos for the agreed upon cost of $50,000. Since the adoption of the slogan several concerns have been raised by citizens and board members alike on the cost expenditures and the effectiveness of the campaign developed by BCF. To address those concerns CEO of BCF, Art Webb, was at yesterday’s meeting and encouraged the board to take another look at his proposal, Art Webb had the following to say; “Your best bet at success is not to appeal to you. Do not look at yourself in the mirror and think that’s where success lies, it doesn’t. You are wise to establish a franchise with that next dominant generation who are right now in their 20′s. The work that we’ve done on your behalf has been in the context of the market realities that you’re facing right now, like them or not. Is it too playful? It is precisely the right level of playfulness. Will it appeal to people of all generations? I think it appeals strongly to people younger than, by and large those of us presently in decision-making mode.” Mr. Webb encourages those that have concerns about the slogan, Play on’s effectiveness that the slogan and the campaign behind it were not developed to be particularly appealing to them, but were developed to draw a younger demographic that will continue to visit and bring in tourism dollars for decades to come. In short, Mr. Webb encouraged the tourism authority to continue with the slogan “Play On” and use it to develop a local identity that will draw young tourism dollars to the area.