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Tourism ad campaign: Gasp, horror

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By Harold Morgon

For cattle growers, branding has a specific meaning.
For the rest of us, not so much. For citizen-consumers, branding, like sustainability, is a word bandied about with little attention to meaning.
As a topic, branding gets attention these days around New Mexico because the Department of Tourism has just selected Vendor Inc. of Austin, Texas, to execute a $2 million advertising campaign “based on the brand essence” the department sees for the state, says Monique Jacobson, Taos native and tourism secretary.
A brand is made up of a set of characteristics that, together, produce warm feelings from consumers for the thing, person, firm, whatever.
Those warm feelings lead people to interact with the brand by, say, buying or perhaps voting, as in the case of politicians.  
New Mexico’s brand has been “Land of Enchantment” forever. At one point the enchantment frustrated me. It’s vague, after all. Marketing needs specifics.
Further consideration brought the conclusion that “enchantment” is the perfect moniker for New Mexico.
A problem is that enchantment’s “brand essences” — mountains, Hispanic villages, pueblos — ignore the energy-producing and cattle-growing southeast.


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