• STRATEGIC BRAND ANALYSIS • CAMPAIGN DEVELOPMENT • CONTENT CREATION • IDENTITY CREATION
In 2008 Cuba Tourism woke up to a revolution: their Caribbean competition was getting more sophisticated, the use of social media and the Internet were eclipsing Cuba’s tired, traditional model for marketing, and the island was losing market share at a staggering rate. Tourism is a vital industry in Cuba, second only to the Military in importance to the island. Up to this point, the Cubans had operated without an ad agency or public relations firm. There were problems–they’re Communists, they’re prohibited from working with a US firm, they speak Spanish, they’re uber-bureaucratic. As Canadians, we reside in their largest market, we are not subject to the embargo, and we have direct access to all markets. We were asked to pitch the business. Immediately we did a little research. Around the world, Cuba has high top-of-mind awareness, enjoys rich and emotive associations, has “bucket list” charisma, and represents a multi-dimensional destination with exceptional beaches. As well, travellers worldwide are looking for more—they’re active, adventurous, wanting to experience life, to try something new. Many vacationers are looking for a break from globalization.
Cuba’s isolation is an asset. Cuba is more than a beach, it’s a whole country. Objectives: halt decreases in key European markets, increase volume of travel from more mature markets like Canada and the UK, grow new markets like Russia and Asia. In January of 2010, the Auténtica Cuba brand is born in 37 countries, 7 languages, servicing 35 local offices worldwide. The entire global campaign was produced in 3 months. We saw what we were doing not simply as servicing an account, we were actually helping build a nation and an important industry, helping to raise standard of living in Cuba. The work touches the “heart and soul” of Cuba. We are proud of our tourism and Government experience and our understanding of these categories. We deliver big agency strategic thinking without any of the big agency expenses. We are proud to employ innovative, money-saving practices designed to maximize effectiveness. We made the Cubans proud, the campaign is differentiating, and it’s been working for an incredible 7 years. Within 2 years we’d increased the number of travellers to the island by over 30%. Now, over 1-million Canadians go to Cuba every year.