US launches first ever coordinated global marketing campaign at WTM

US launches first ever coordinated global marketing campaign at WTM

Using the simple branding ‘USA’, the first ever coordinated global marketing for America will promote the country under the four pillars of great outdoors, urban excitement, culture and indulgence.

A website went live earlier and the USA logo debuted on collaborative marketing in Italy this morning.  ‘Brand ambassadors’- travellers who already love the States - will be invited to share their experiences through social networking.

Brand USA, a non-profit organisation with government support was founded around a year ago to create a coordinated marketing strategy for the country.

Chief executive Jim Evans said: “We are one of the few nations that hasn’t had a brand to support all those Visit groups that have been doing a good job for years.”

Speaking at the launch at WTM 2011, the leading global travel event for the travel industry, Evans called the last ten years the “lost decade” saying: “We’ve gone from a 17 per cent share of the global travel market to 12 per cent today and that’s pretty painful.”

Brand USA is seeking to raise $200 million a year for promotional activity – half through the private sector and half through international visitor fees.

It hopes to have an initial $10 million plus $40 million in kind by October 2012.

The money raised through the ESTA scheme will not be ring-fenced to source country but Evans said those that generate the most visitors would naturally receive a high marketing spend.

UK residents can sign up to a pilot project called Global Traveller which fast tracks trusted visitors, who have had a background check, through US immigration. A booth near the Brand USA stand will be handling applications during WTM.

Research having shown that the US has a perception of having unfriendly borders, Brand USA will also be highlighting the new edict that immigration staff tell visitors ‘welcome’ and ‘thank you for coming’.