Late last month the state of Rhode Island got into some marketing trouble. You see, Iceland is a very beautiful place, probably one of the most beautiful in the world. Yet, it is just not Rhode Island. Nothing will ever put Iceland in Rhode Island, just like Rhode Island will never be part of Iceland. Yet, somehow, some of Iceland got put into some Rhode Island tourism videos that were supposed to show the natural beauty of The Ocean State. This debacle has caused the CMO of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Betsy Wall, to resign. Though the people of the state kind of don’t like the whole campaign, the logo that was designed for it will remain. Everything else, will change, including the somewhat strange tagline that was created for the campaign, “Warmer and Cooler.” In addition, $120,000 is going to be returned to the state in return for the terribly messed up marketing campaign.
“We need to hold people accountable because Rhode Islanders deserve better. Taxpayers deserve better, and too many mistakes were made.” Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo said of the campaign. The campaign will be important for the state, whose tourism industry is the second largest employing industry in the state, with an estimated $3.26 billion of tourism related sales each year for the state.
But how did footage from Reykjavik, Iceland make it into the video? No one is really sure. In dealing with Havas, the creative company overseeing the campaign, the RICC gave “explicit instructions” to “use only Rhode Island footage.” Now that the mistake has been made, the company is reportedly doing the video over free of charge.
Besides the video, the residents reportedly do not like the slogan of “Warmer & Cooler.” “Maybe a cooler place to be in the warmer weather? How’s that?” One guy guessed about what it is actually supposed to mean. Regardless, hopefully after this debacle, Rhode Island’s marketing campaign will get some positive attention and generate tourism revenue for the state as people enjoy it this summer!
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