Whether it’s the cabbie saying, “Welcome to The Rock,” or the waitress who just made you feel like her new best friend. Coming to St. John’s and the northeast Avalon as a visitor is all about colourful encounters.
So that’s exactly what has been chosen as the new marketing brand for the area.
Destination St. John’s made the announcement at a packed house event in St. John’s Wednesday.
“We are very excited about the brand platform that we have developed,” said Cathy Duke, CEO of Destination St. John’s.
“Our sales team travels all over North America selling our destination and we now have a powerful set of marketing tools to help us build on our success.”
Destination St. John’s serves as a not-for-profit organization devoted to selling the products of local tourism driven businesses such as hotels, George Street and the St. John’s Convention Centre.
This new brand means whenever Destination St. John’s deals with members of the media, tourism promoters or anyone in the industry it will put the unique character of the area first and foremost in its sales pitch.
The new brand comes complete with a newly redesigned website (www.destinationstjohns.com), a social media marketing campaign and new marketing symbols and material for promoters to use.
Foremost on the list of new symbols is a colourful brushstroke of circles, looking almost like a bow of bubbles, wrapped around the Destination St. John’s logo.
It all comes from the minds at The Idea Factory, a local marketing company that was hired to audit the previous branding.
Colourful Encounters is the result of hundreds of interviews with travel writers, tourists and promoters and countless hours of research, said Kevin Casey, chief strategy officer from The Idea Factory.
But it’s also about not being like all the other cities out there.
“When we looked at how the other cities across Canada were presenting themselves it was really ‘death by bullet points.’ It was a laundry list of ‘here are the features of our city,’” said Casey.
“We wanted a visual that shows that there’s a lot of uncommon encounters here and that there’s probably not one hour of the day alike. For us, the visual pallet that did that was the burst of energy. So we didn’t really see it as bubbles, we saw it as bursts of different types of energy and the swagger that makes up St. John’s the brand,” he said.
Additionally, two comments that kept coming up from the various interviews were how colourful, both literally and figuratively, this place was and what strange and wonderful encounters were possible here, added Casey.
“Colourful Encounters was all about the things you wont find on an itinerary or the things you won’t find in a schedule. That’s different than when you go to Disney World. That’s all packaged. We’re totally unpackaged here. The randomness is was people are looking for because it’s different than their everyday life,” he said.
St. John’s Mayor Dennis O'Keefe was also on hand for the launch and had nothing but praise for the new brand.
“I simply want to say that we are a terrific destination simply because all of the activity, and all of the energy, and all of the personality, that we have here in this room and that we have outside the room,” said O’Keefe.