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Greenville

I Was Blown Away

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I recently learned about I Was Blown Away, a new marketing campaign to better promote the Upstate. The site currently has a 20-minute presentation by Erwin-Penland describing the new campaign. Essentially, it will feature 8-10 commercials with a first-person account of someone who has moved to the Upstate. It will discuss their perception before their visit and after moving here. It will directly address stereotypes people not familiar with Greenville and the Upstate might have. The call to action is for people to simply visit and form their own opinions. Each of the spots will highlight a pretty area or an area of interest in the metro.

I like this campaign. As they discussed early in the presentation, people from other parts of the country have stereotypes of the South (many of which are negative). They lump the South into one distinct region, and assume that everyone is the same. They picture a slow pace of life, and perhaps also a more rural setting. I am SO glad Erwin-Penland realizes that people have those perceptions and plans on specifically addressing them.

The first step, which they discussed, is helping people realize that there are very distinct differences within the South. One thing they did not discuss, but that I would like to see them tackle, is distinguishing Greenville and the Upstate from the rest of South Carolina. It's one thing to convince someone that The South is different, but what about the person who only realizes that South Carolina is different from North Carolina? What about the person who has only driven through our state on I-95 and assumes that it paints an accurate picture of our state? What about the person who has only briefly been exposed to people of our state but had a bad experience (and now stereotypes everyone here)? Or what about the person who has been to Myrtle Beach or Charleston or even Columbia, but not Greenville? We need to sell them on the fact that the Upstate is different from all of that. It's not as much about trying not to be a part of South Carolina, but rather from distinguishing ourselves from any possible negative stereotypes people might have obtained as a result of those other places. Besides, if we're going to try to win people over on "access to the beach" and "friendly people," they have likely already experienced that or heard about it in association with the coastal areas of our state. And quite frankly, we're more than lazy days on the beach with overly friendly people.

I feel that this is a key strategic move for the Upstate, and felt it was important enough to start a thread on. I would like to hear everyone else's thoughts on this.

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I like what I'm reading here. Where will this campaign be aired?

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I still say a city/region should not try to attract the kind of perosn who would buy in to something they saw on a TV commercial. There are better ways the Upstate can promote itself.

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I still say a city/region should not try to attract the kind of perosn who would buy in to something they saw on a TV commercial.

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I know a little about this. The Upstate Alliance, which promotes economic development in the 10-county upstate region, and BMW are at the center of it, with a number of other partners. The initial goal was to develop a strategy & campaign that could be used to promote/showcase the upstate during TV coverage (Golf Channel) of the BMW Charity Classic in May. The 30-second 'I Was Blown Away' spots are to serve as "teasers" that will drive people to a website to learn more about various aspects of the Upstate -- whatever aspect the viewer was most intrigued by. The video explains that part of it pretty well, if you haven't watched the whole thing.

There was a press conference to announce it all this morning, so I suspect we'll see news coverage about it as early as tonight. It sounded like while it was developed because of the Charity Classic opportunity, it turned out to be the kind of thing that could live on for longer and in other mediums.

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I like the idea and the concept behind this campaign.

I very much like the train of thought they are using.....why showcase education, housing, business, etc.....any city can showcase those and any city can lay some claim to fame in one of those categories.

The fact that it takes stereotypes head-on. Excellent.

This campaign would seem to lend itself well to all media types....I can especially see this in print, national magazines.

It speaks to me, but then, "I was blown away" on my first visit to Greenville. :D

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Cap'n, I think that what most people will do is dismiss the ad like people do for any other ad. However, its one of those things where it gets the "Upstate" name out there, and people will become more aware of it as a region that is not anything like the other one in New York. I'd wager that outside of the immediate neighboring states, most people don't know that South Carolina has an "Upstate." If anyone wants to learn more, this website sounds like it will do just that. I look forward to seeing more.

Sounds like a good campaign for the Upstate. I think this will be a first of its kind in that it represents the Upstate as a unified economic region, rather than Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson.

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I like the ideas, but I just doen't think anybody will see the ads. I would say not that many people watch the Golf channel to begin with, since it is only standard in certain markets. Moreover, most people watch whatever PGA event happens to be going on at the time, which is on network stations. Also, few people watch commercials nowadays anyway, either by changing channels, or by skipping them on their tibo (or whatever you call them). I would actually think, if anything, the tournament would be more of a commercial for the upstate than the ads.

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I did not get the impression that this much expense and effort is being devoted to a few commercials to be aired during a golf tournament. They are planning a series of 8-10 different commercials, each highlighting a certain aspect of life in Greenville and addressing various stereotypes about the South. Perhaps I am wrong, but this seems to be a full-fledged campaign designed to grow and evolve.

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If you watch the video the speaker clearly says that this will continue past the BMW ProAm. That just happens to be the starting point for this Upstate ad campaign.

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I apologize for being so blunt; I was in a bit of a mood when I typed that. What I read in Greenville's post were things that have been driven into the ground on these forums. Therefore, I assumed this marketing campaign was also more of the same. I watched the video last night and was pretty impressed by the approach. I would have to see the final result to really judge this, but I liked the idea. Also, I haven't turned on a television in years, so my perception of marketing may be a bit different than most in this country.

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Had company in from out of the town the last several days. One of them said downtown "blew her away". They knew nothing of the campaign. Sweet. :)

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Had company in from out of the town the last several days. One of them said downtown "blew her away". They knew nothing of the campaign. Sweet. :)

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I'm sure there were (or I hope there were) lots of those comments this weekend with all of the Gold Wing riders in town.

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