Well, this is both disturbing and humorous at the same time.

It seems that a CVB is Indiana liked a campaign by a CVB in Utah so much that they decided they would use it themselves. Read the full Adweek story here.

It’s disturbing because we work in a creative industry and when an idea is so blatantly ripped off it reflects poorly on the entire advertising community. On the other hand, the agency whose work was stolen had some fun with it, sending a sarcastic letter to the other agency. "Instead of wasting our efforts thinking up ideas independent of one another, we could maybe just use one another's ideas. … Of course, some people might have a real problem with this—even going so far as call it unethical or plagiaristic…”

We’ve had ideas of our own, shall we say “repurposed”, over our many years in business. We know how it feels. It’s minor consolation as advertising professionals that in this case it was the client who insisted on re-using the idea and having their agency do the production work. Clients greatly impact the quality of creative work. Sometimes they make it better; other times the drag it way down. So far, we haven’t had any suggest that we simply steal an idea from someone.

Originality is tough. Completely new, never-been-done-before concepts do not come easily. I’m so thankful for our creative team. They’re good at what they do.

Because we value original work in the tourism marketing space, we pledge that you will not see these ideas from our team:

  1. Any variation on Eat. Stay. Play. used as an ad campaign or tagline. It’s a nice sentiment but has been used to death by every chamber of commerce in America.
  2. Any variation of pulling a word out of the destination’s name. For example “Go” as in ChicaGO or “Oklahoma is OK”: NOTE: I made up those examples to keep from singling out any destination for embarrassment. You’ve all seen the real ads before. The first one I recall seeing was IN BirmINgham and to be honest. I really liked it. It had great photos and interesting messages. Now, the idea has just been used so much it’s boring.

I’ll end with a question. When thinking about where to go on vacation or a weekend getaway, are you less likely to choose a destination whose marketing message is bland and unoriginal?


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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