New Summer Marketing Campaign to Brand “FUN”

by January 28, 2009 • 5 comments

“Best dang beach vacation ever. Period.” – Funculator – Funtastic – These are some of the ideas that came out of the brain-storming session yesterday with regard to the summer marketing campaign.  The “brand” for this summer is FUN with an emphasis on creating the perception of value when vacationing on Panama City Beach.

Last year’s Summer White Sale, touted as wildly successful was surely a media ploy in that the actual results were not actually wet with success, but the image of the whole campaign from a PR perspective certainly was.  Featured in the likes of the New York Times and other coveted news publications, the estimated value in PR placement was in the hundreds of thousands.  However, the actual deals were nothing to call home to mom about.  As pointed out by Bryan Durta, “The deals that were to be had were nothing more than what you could find on the rack cards or local discount books.”

This year the marketing committee wanted to place an emphasis on value enhancement rather than discounts.  The idea is to create incentives that didn’t give the appearance that we were a discount location that would in turn devalue our image.  By placing an emphasis on increased value, i.e. getting more for your money, instead of saying 20% off, we look bettter.

I agree with this, but the only question, and this resounded in the room yesterday, was how do we do this and give (as Hoot Crawford so famously put) everyone a fair shake.  What is the best strategy for being sure everyone can benefit from this outside of just a few select hoteliers, attractions and restaurants?  Well, that seemed to be the presiding issue and concern.  In fact, for quite some time, there was quite a bit of discussion as to exactly how to handle this very issue until Marty McDaniel stepped in.

Marty is the new Director of the TDC and kindly reminded everyone that the details are just the details – we still need a big boom, a hook that people will grab on to and follow to Panama City Beach.  We’ve got to have a very powerful message that will capture the attention of visitors and potential visitors.  Whatever we do has to be revolutionary.  If we can come with something that is WOW, it will work.

YPartnership wanted to brand “FUN”, with maybe a Funculator on the main page of the visitpanamacitybeach.com web site that could calculate how much ‘fun’ you would have on your trip here.  The idea is to emphasize more fun, more beach, more entertainment, more summer for you, etc.

At the end of the meeting, YPartnerhship left with some ideas as to what direction we want to go and hopefully enough amunition to come back with something great, because we need it.

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1 Ben Bennett January 29, 2009 at 12:29 am

I kinda like “fun”. Perhaps PCB can own Fun the same way TBS Television owns Funny. They did a fantastic job of branding the network in a way that was entertaining and relevant.

If PCB could do something similar it would probably make the big splash that McDaniel is looking for. Maybe the revolutionary part is the execution of the idea rather than the idea itself.

Keep up the good work Jason!

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2 Think Again February 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

If FUN is the best thing they can come up with, I think we need some more “brainstorming” with the a little more brain involved.

Beach balls, sandcastles and smiling kids are all nice, but no different than any other beach resort destination. Any campaign that is selling “FUN” is just putting the idea of a vacation in people’s minds, not Panama City Beach, and that is the goal.

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3 Destin Snob February 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm

PCB is a great place to visit but too many people still perceive it as a party town that needs to be cleaned up. They need (actually we…I bought there recently) need to get the word out the we are NEW! PCB has the potential to tap into, actually feed off of the “over crowded” “been there done that” crowd of Destin. I own and rent by owner 4 units in Destin, so I understand I dont have to sell Destin. It sells itself. PCB, not so much but I find myself wanting PCB over Destin these days because I want to explore! The message for PBC is simple…family, family, family. Jump, scream and YELL..we are FAMILY friendly! Kids at an inexpensive Pier Park fishing and experiencing the thrill of watching someone catch a sting ray (yes we saw that)says it all! Family fun, just doing the simple things. Just my Kentucky POV

Great site Janson glad to have found it! Keep up the good work you natives of PCB! Your hard work is showing in your most beautiful town! I admire the town more with every visit!

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4 Mark Caughlin February 4, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I think it’s great! I work in the hospitality industry and we were reviewing a lot of marketing material from all over. We noticed how many adjectives people throw around trying to paint a great picture for visitors and realized that “FUN” is a word rarely used. To me, it’s the ultimate description of a memorable experience. Something might be luxurious, value filled, visually stunning…etc.
However, these places might not be necessarily fun.

If you can’t have fun at the beach, then where can you?!
You can use that! ha

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