Jump Back In
Friday, March 11, 2022, 12pm by Karen DeSollar
It's as if we were prescient.
About two and a half years ago at this time, we in GRCVB's Marketing Department had started working with our advertising and creative agency, Avenir Bold, to develop a new theme for destination advertising and promotion. We were looking for an idea and verbiage to replace "Originally Raleigh," the theme we had been using since 2018.
We had several meetings and lots of ideas, hundreds probably. If you've ever been a part of a creative brainstorming session, you know it can be all kinds of fun and really frustrating at the same time. We knew what we were looking for and what we wanted to communicate—but summarizing a broad idea into a few words is a challenge.
- We were looking for something that was active, not passive, and we wanted it to be customer-centric; that is, it's the visitor or customer doing the action, not us/Raleigh.
- We needed a concept that could be applied across audiences (leisure, meetings/conventions and sports) and across platforms.
- We knew we wanted to attach the concept to our brand strategy (Raleigh's passionate minds) and the developing angle of "signature experiences." With that in mind, we were looking for a theme that would encourage visitors to make more than a cursory visit. We wanted to encourage them to "immerse" themselves in Raleigh/Wake County and the experiences that are created by all those who represent our area's creative and collaborative culture.
After many false starts and creative dead ends, we finally landed on Jump In! We actually added some background verbiage about it and used it to lead off the 2020-2022 Official Visitors Guide.
Here is why we say Jump In—
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN RALEIGH, N.C.
...“Take an Art Walk tour through downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District with Annelies Gentile, who is herself an artist. Or if you’re a coffee-lover, let Greg Whitt introduce you to the area’s favorite and coziest coffee bars on his Coffee Stroll tour. Or check out visitRaleigh.com for our ‘passionate minds,’ a passel of local makers and innovators who have created products, tastes and activities for you to experience first-hand.”
That was in early March 2020. You know the rest.
All of that work went into hibernation during the next 15 months or so while we all coped with the effects of COVID-19 on tourism.
However, as soon as July 2021 hit, we resurrected that creative process and brought it back out into the sun. And lo and behold, we figured out that if we added a back into it—Jump Back In—it would work very nicely for post-pandemic promotions.
You might have already started to see Jump Back In appearing on some advertising for GRSA, leisure and resident-targeted ads. You will continue to see more of those as well as a whole catalog of meeting and convention planner promotions, including trade show booths, collateral, email marketing, video placement, giveaways and more rolling out. Last week, along with Avenir Bold, we spent several days at photo/video shoots for upcoming Jump Back In advertising.
We will gauge the appropriateness of using Jump Back In for awhile and, when it's time, in all likelihood, we will go back to Jump In as a theme.
I believe the appropriate word to use here is serendipity—"the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." We got lucky this time, and we're hoping Jump Back In will continue to be serendipitous and effective for us and our partners going forward in the rebuild and recovery for area tourism.
Author: Karen DeSollar
Karen DeSollar is creative director at the Greater Raleigh CVB and has worked for over 15 years in the tourism sector. She started her career as an editor and earned a bachelor's degree in speech communications and English and a master's in journalism. She added graphic design to her bag of tricks when she spent 13 years as director of communications at a university in San Diego.