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United States Flag Meeting Notes for the April 16, 2004 Meeting

United States Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes
April 16, 2004
Washington, DC

In Attendance:

Jay Rasulo, Chair, and President, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Manny Cortez, President & CEO, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Charles Gargano, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Development
Manny Stamatakis, Board Member, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Bob Taubman, Chairman & CEO, The Taubman Company

Brian Akley, Empire State Development
Bill Bissett, Delaware North Company
Rita Cuddihy, Marriott International, Inc.
Charles Merin, Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Antonella Pianalto, American Express
Martin White, United Airlines
Sam Wright, Cendant Corporation
Representative, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

U.S. Department of Commerce Staff:

Doug Baker, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Service Industries, Tourism & Finance
Helen Marano, Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, DOC
Isabel Hill, Deputy Director, Policy Development and Planning
Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, Industry Relations

  1. Call to Order

    Designated Federal Officer, Julie Heizer, officially called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and turned the proceedings over to Chair Jay Rasulo.

  2. Welcome

    Chair Rasulo welcomed the Board members, their designees and guests to the fourth meeting of the Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board, and laid out the basic agenda for the day’s proceedings.

  3. Overview of Program Objectives

    Deputy Assistant Secretary, Douglas B. Baker, thanked Chair Rasulo and the Board members for their attendance at the meeting.

    At the time of the December meeting, there was a potential rescission of the program’s funding. That process played out and there were two different rescission provisions that affected the Department of Commerce in its entirety. After the Omnibus Spending Bill was passed and signed, this program was left with just over six million dollars ($6,000,000).

    Staff continued the procurement process, even in the face of rescission uncertainties, interviewed bidding firms, and their subsequent written proposals, and ultimately made a selection.

    Following the consensus recommendation of the Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board, the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and the new contract team will focus their efforts in the United Kingdom only. The U.K. continues to be America’s largest overseas market, so it makes sense for this pilot program to be launched there.

    The office has been careful throughout the process to keep the procurement and review on the same path as had originally been laid out for the larger, five market campaign. It was critical to select a firm capable of carrying the campaign into the other four markets so that if new monies become available, they could be folded right into this contract without having to face a new procurement action.

    The objectives of the campaign remain the same: increase visitation to U.S. from target markets, increase economic benefits from visitation, increase interest and future intent to visit the U.S. and to increase the positive perception of the U.S. as a travel destination.

    One of the challenges as a federal agency is to make sure that the campaign is emblematic of the United States as a whole and to create a program that allows everyone to participate.

    The contract was awarded to the well-known public relations firm, Edelman (Chicago), who will serve as the primary contractor. They came to this process with a consortium of other organizations under the umbrella of “Visit America Alliance.” The other organizations that will be working with Edelman on the various aspects of the promotion and marketing campaign are M&C Saatchi (Los Angeles), BVK International (Miami), and Walker Media (London).

    What will be presented at the meeting is a draft of the strategic direction and marketing plan that has been developed by Edelman, its partners, and DOC staff. In addition, representatives of several TTPAB members provided their expertise and advice through the procurement process. While their assistance is greatly appreciated, it should not be viewed as an endorsement of what will be presented.

  4. Overview of Procurement Process

    Helen Marano, Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, thanked everyone who had been involved in the procurement process.

    The DOC, through the empowered procurement team, worked very hard to expedite the cumbersome procurement process. DOC’s procurement office had outlined that a multi-million dollar procurement would take 12-18 months to complete. Because an empowered procurement team was developed, and because all the members of the team were dedicated to working closely and efficiently throughout the process, a Request for Quotation (RFQ) was issued on December 18th. An adjusted RFQ was issued shortly after the first of the year. Bidders first submitted their qualifications package. Oral presentations were scheduled with those most likely to be awarded the contract. Subsequently, best and final written proposals were submitted for review and scoring. The contract was awarded on March 18th, nearly three months to the day of the original RFQ having been published. DOC’s procurement office at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said it was the quickest procurement action they have ever completed.

    The criteria originally designed for assessing the “best and final” written proposals for the five-market program were kept intact, requiring that the selected firm have previous experience with and be capable of developing and implementing multinational consumer campaigns. The criteria also indicated that the contract would be awarded to a firm whose capability and experience, together with their proposed marketing program, would deliver the best value to the government. The contract was awarded in keeping with this criteria by a selection panel on the basis of the offerors’ written proposals, in keeping with procurement law.

    The time and energy expended by the TTPAB representatives helped refine the final selection process, and the procurement team is grateful for their assistance.

    The Department of Commerce celebrates the award of this contract to Edelman and its Visit America Alliance partners. As was mentioned earlier by Mr. Baker, M&C Saatchi, Los Angeles, will lead the advertising portion of the campaign, BVK, based in Milwaukee, will manage the cooperative program, and Edelman, Chicago, of course, will lead the team and the public relations initiatives, as well. Both M&C Saatchi and Edelman are also going to be working with their offices in London, as well.

    The first task order under the contract is the development of the strategic marketing plan being outlined by Edelman and the Visit America Alliance. OTTI staff and the VAA team have met with the Commercial Service officers and the Visit USA Association U.K. board of directors in London, and have had additional meetings with representatives from the Travel Industry Association of America as well as from other industry and government partners.

    In unveiling the strategic framework, Ms. Marano asked those present to keep in mind this is not a completed marketing plan or program. The final plan will reflect additional input from the members of the TTPAB, the industry, destination marketing organizations, and other government stakeholders. The mission statement of the U.K. promotion program is: “to do that which others can not do and to leverage which others are already doing.”

    Ms. Marano then introduced Cathleen Johnson, co-director of the project.

  5. Draft Strategic Plan Presentation

    Ms. Johnson outlined the composition of the Visit America Alliance. Edelman’s tourism practice is based in Chicago, and will serve as the lead for this work. M&C Saatchi is one of the fastest-growing advertising agencies in the world, and Edelman is fortunate to be working with their tourism experts, Huw Griffith and Kate Bristow, whose offices are located in Los Angeles. Likewise, when looking for a leading cooperative marketing development organization, Edelman was fortunate to entice BVK to the table, and working with the group will be Mary DeLong from BVK’s Tampa office. The media-buying component of the program will be managed by Walker Media in London and Longwoods International will be handling the research components.

    Some of the team’s clients include:
    Airlines: British Airways, Qantas, Ted
    Destinations: Tourism New Zealand, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Beaches of Ft. Myers and Sanibel, State of Illinois Department of Tourism
    Cruise Companies: NCL Cruises, Crystal Cruises
    Hotels: Mandarin Oriental, InterContinental Hotel Group, Wyndham Hotels
    Online Travel: Expedia
    Tour Operators: The Mark Travel Corporation
    Entertainment: Motion Picture Association of America, Blockbuster

    The USA Tourism Management Team consists of: Cathleen Johnson, Project Manager (Edleman), Huw Griffith, Co-Project Manager (M&C Saatchi), Kate Bristow, Advertising Director (M&C Saatchi), Mary DeLong, Co-op Advertising Director (BVK), Sarah Devaney and Nigel Breakwell, PR Directors, Neal Flieger and Toby McCarrick, Administration Managers (Edelman), Stephen McCall, UK Advertising, Alan Jarvie and Mitch Markson, Creative Directors (M&C Saatchi), and Ferris Thompson, Entertainment Director (Edelman).

    As outlined to the Visit America Alliance, the Challenge of the project is:
    To increase inbound travel to the United States, initially from the United Kingdom, and eventually from Germany, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

    As stated earlier by Mr. Baker, the objectives of the program are to:

    • Increase visitation to U.S. from target markets
    • Increase economic benefits from visitation
    • Increase interest and future intent to visit the US.
    • Increase positive perception of the U.S. as a travel destination

    Ms. Johnson introduced Kate Bristow, M&C Saatchi, who outlined the strategic platforms from which the group operated when developing their approach.

    Looking at the Consumer target audiences, the Alliance will focus the programs on those British travelers who show a predisposition to long-haul travel:

    • ABC1: Top half of UK population including the key BC1 audience
    • Ages range from 25 to 54
    • Annual household income of $72,000+

    In addition to this base, secondary targets would include:

    • C1C2s families – likely to be repeat visitors
    • Last minute bookers, who tend to be young singles
    • The Travel Trade

    Everyone in the travel and tourism industry knows that the competitive landscape is extremely tough. There is an estimated $540 million competitive spend in the United Kingdom alone. Of that, long-haul tourist boards annually spend $38 million trying to attract British travelers to their destinations.

    Working with a $4 million media buy, America’s share of voice would be approximately 10% in the long haul market.

    Current consumer insights include the following “truths”:

    • Everyone is looking for inspiration for where to take the next holiday.
    • Familiarity with a place creates a desire to visit.
    • It’s a much greater experience when one actually visits a place you’ve seen on the TV or in a brochure.

    In looking at brand insight, particularly as it pertains to the U.K. market, U.S. entertainment is one of America’s biggest exports and is an every day part of people’s lives. The Brits have a huge appetite for “Entertainment USA.” Nearly 150 hours of U.S. television and film broadcast on the five main UK TV stations per week. Some of the “American staples” are: ER, Frasier, and Sex and the City.

    Recent American movies that have aired in the U.K. include “Spiderman,” “Oceans Eleven,” and “Maid in Manhattan.” Four out of five movies playing at any one time in the U.K. are U.S. productions.

    Entertainment unifies and inspires. The British have issues with some things American…but they all love the films, TV shows, books, music and the culture. Familiarity with the sights and sounds of America breeds desire. Interestingly, according to a recent MORI poll, over 25% of Britons would like to live in the USA.

    When developing the Creative Strategy for this campaign, the VAA team was driven by one precept: Brutally Simple Thinking. Consumer Insight (Vacationers are inspired by things they’ve seen but not yet experienced) added to Brand Insight (Every day the USA entertainment industry showcases America to the British public) equals a Call to Action (Visit the USA and Experience it for Real).

    The VAA team felt it boiled down to a simple statement: Evocative movies inspire action. The creative strategy, then, became: Capitalize on the strong affinity the British already have for American popular culture and reawaken a desire to experience it for themselves

    “Lord of the Rings” has increased overseas visitation to New Zealand by 11% over the last 3 years, and has helped boost New Zealand tourism earnings by US$130 million.

    Other notable examples: Kansas and the Dakotas continue to benefit from Dances With Wolves, Savannah, Georgia from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Dyersville, Iowa remains as visitors’ Field of Dreams.

    Huw Griffith, Co-Director of the VAA Team, presented the draft creative work. From their experience, and likely from many in the room’s experience as well, it is notoriously difficult to produce great tourism advertising. A lot of questions arise as to how effective and indeed memorable a lot of it really is. The Alliance partners went through and reviewed the major advertisers in the marketplace. At best, it is confusing as to who is who. It is a smorgasbord of sometimes beautiful photographs of places, activities and smiling people enjoying themselves. However, it all ends up looking quite generic. The Alliance partners thought it would be very easy to fall into the same trap, given the sheer scale and offers available throughout the USA.

    However, they are very happy the U.S. has one thing no one else has. Because American TV shows and movies are so prevalent in the U.K. market, those images are already being used as “advertising” for the USA. The whole country is a vast and diverse film set that appears as a shining backdrop to so may of the movies the British watch and love. Viewers can conjure up that feeling of standing on a New York street with the yellow taxis flying by, see the steam rising from the pavement or standing in a deserted town with the sagebrush rolling down the street, or indeed drinking coffee in a favorite café or diner.

    The power is to sell the “real experience.” This is where the simple creative idea was derived. No other country can own or invoke this feeling. The idea is to use this as a backdrop to the call to action – summed up in a simple campaign line: “You’ve Seen the Film, Now Visit the Set.”

    So much of what will be shown will be familiar to the viewer, but the team feels it will act as the “driving line” to inspire consumers to action. (The numbers of people who have visited “Middle Earth” in New Zealand have not just been Tolkien fans!) VAA believes this line is ultimately flexible as well, be it a film, TV show, book, music, or other reference to popular American culture. The aim is to have this line picked up by cooperative partners as well, who can then use it in their promotions.

    They have also developed a mnemonic device: “Unmissable Spectacular America.” Unmissable is a very British word, used to describe films that cannot and should not be missed. “Spectacular” is also very positive and is a great descriptor. We hope that this, too, will be picked up and used by the program’s partners in a variety of appropriate ways.

    Mr. Griffith said a call to action is crucial and integral to the campaign. They want to be able to work with and leverage what is already available and working well in the U.K. As a result, the VAA team is already in discussion with the Travel Industry Association of America and the Visit USA Association United Kingdom regarding potential “calls to action.” (For the purposes of the creative presentation, and a fake phone number were used, more as “placeholders” than anything else.)

    While it’s too early to state definitively, the aim of the program will likely be to drive consumer traffic to both a website and a consumer telephone line. Future announcements about these discussions will be forthcoming.

    The simple creative idea that he presented is still at the conceptual stage. The images chosen are all from movies, which, as was explained, would not be the limitation in the final creative. The images are “screen grabs,” which do not present the quality that would be realized in the actual work. In addition, what was presented were not the definitive images that would be used. More testing and negotiation will be needed before the actual visuals, etc., are finalized. Research is critical, and, in fact, has already impacted the visual work that is being presented.

    Brand television will be crucial to set the scene and establish the vastness and diversity of the USA. They will set the stage and the backdrop for the balance of the campaign. The montage of clips used will be emotional, the ads may well have a specially composed musical score riding underneath. The VAA team will look to develop both a :50 and a :30 second version of the ad. (Draft :50 spot was shown.)

    Supporting the television spots, careful use of both outdoor billboards and underground (subway) station posters will be included. (Variety of possible billboards and posters was shown.)

    In addition, the look and feel of the “big impact” media will be reinforced by color print advertising that will utilize a variety of formats as well. (Several color print iterations were shown, including several variations that would make use of cooperative industry partnerships.)

    The “Brand USA” Framework takes into account the “big picture” thinking that starts when a consumer generally determines what kind of destination holiday they want. The framework then provides the consumer with “pillars” of choice that coincide with the specific themes being touted by the campaign – shopping, family, outdoor, culture/heritage. Those pillars then lead the consumer to determine “I want that now,” at which stage the private sector stands ready to sell the consumer U.S. travel and tourism products.

    Since part of the original brief for the program was for the campaign to be implemented in five countries, the Visit America Alliance team also did some basic research into whether or not the theme line, “You’ve Seen the Film. Now visit the set” would work in the other languages. Fortunately, with the help of VAA offices around the globe, Mr. Griffith said he was pleased to report that this theme line translated to the other key languages in a very easy manner, while maintaining the strength of the message.

    As was mentioned previously, some testing has already been done, and early indications show positive response.

    • Using the idiom of films proving to be a powerful trigger – distinctive American phenomena
    • Generates considerable empathy and involvement
    • Shows strong potential to encourage people to reconsider the States as a desirable holiday destination

    Some of the comments from the early focus groups were:

    • “This advertising has moved us beyond the way we normally thought of the States, and all the clichés and ‘biggest is best’”
    • “This is showing us another side and that there is lots more to see”
    • “You feel you are walking in the same path as your heroes”

    Moving on specifically to the media buy, the primary objective is: To stimulate people to reappraise the USA as a vacation destination.

    • The media strategy will include:
    • Design a campaign that creates authority and energy
    • Requires a wave of activity rather than ongoing noise
    • Careful timing and instant mass reach of our audience led by the most engaging medium

    Television would be used as the lead medium because:

    • Only medium to reach 62% of our audience in any one week
    • Highly efficient
    • Buying the best programming: at least 80% of our airtime will appear in peak
    • High reach and frequency amongst both hard-to-reach ABs as well as C1C2s, and the travel trade

    Additional media will include national print that helps create a “surround sound” presence in the marketplace and is an ideal media for cooperative partner involvement. In addition, London outdoor media will be utilized because the audience is 75% more likely than the average UK adult to use the tube; the London Underground is an ideal (contrasting) environment to deliver the program’s message; and premium roadside sites reach a large audience and create “fame.”

    There is also one tentative cooperative partnership already underway with Blockbuster. They are interested in working with the U.S. government to develop an in-store promotion linking the campaign to major US movies. There are more than 700 stores in the U.K. that service millions of movie renters. Details are being worked out, but there is a variety of opportunities available on this exciting promotion.

    In a very broad sense, the media plan is then outlined to include travel trade press beginning this summer; followed by the Blockbuster promotion, a national television campaign, national magazine and newspaper advertisements, and the outdoor and underground posters. These components would support one another beginning in late fall and moving into and through the winter.

    Ms. Johnson briefly outlined the financial side of the program. 70% of the budget will be utilized for the media buy. The VAA Alliance has kept their fees to a minimum, as well as production cost estimates, which were shown as eight percent of the total budget. The public relations budget is smaller than perhaps is usual, but is within reasonable limits, and research and evaluation stands at four percent of total.

    Measurement is an important component of the program, and is currently envisioned as being accomplished in four separate stages:

    • Qualitative Strategic and Creative testing – 8 focus groups in UK
    • Benchmark Study in May – 500+ consumers
    • Post-campaign benchmark study – 1200+ UK consumers
    • Both the pre- and post-campaign studies will utilize Longwoods International Accountability Model
    • PR Evaluation

    Ms. Johnson then presented the draft cooperative program that has been developed by the Alliance in response to the original request for proposal.

    The US cooperative program designed to:

    • Affect consideration of U.S. as a preferred destination
    • Enhance planning
    • Motivate partner-direct bookings
    • Enhance – not duplicate – existing programs
    • Meet the needs of a wide spectrum of potential partners

    The Alliance members believe there is extensive partner potential in this component of the program. By utilizing Travel Industry Stakeholders, the Entertainment Industry and Non-traditional Partners, a very large partner pool including some of the world’s most sophisticated and well-funded marketers is brought to the table for the cooperative component of the promotion program.

    The Alliance recommends the following cooperative strategic approach:

    • Government Initiated Programs – government-directed and placed umbrella
      programs; multi-medium and multi-discipline; wide range of participation costs
    • Stakeholder Initiated Programs – provides formal system for stakeholders to
      propose partnership programs for stakeholder-directed and placed
      programs; strict requirements and ROI guidelines
    • Custom Programs – custom developed, integrated, multi-partner programs jointly developed through one-on-one meetings

    The cooperative component of the program needs to be more fully developed, and additional details will be presented at future meetings.

    Ms. Johnson then outlined the public relations strategies that will be utilized to fulfill this campaign. The Alliance members determined the primary goals of the public relations component of the campaign to be:

    • Rally UK and U.S. tourism industry
    • Build pre-campaign momentum
    • Pique consumer interest and build excitement
    • Support and extend advertising – bridge the gap between campaigns
    • Secure partnerships to extend dollars

    Work for the PR campaign will be accomplished in phases, tentatively outlined as follows:

    • Phase I
      • April - June
      • Trade outreach – preview campaign; secure buy-in
      • Identify, reach and influence last-minute travelers to drive summer bookings
      • Leverage trends, e.g. exchange rate
      • Educate audiences about security issues
    • Phase II – Campaign Launch, June
      • Announce at SeeAmerica Week, London
      • Launch aggressive media relations campaign
      • Begin familiarization trip program
      • Build partnerships to drive awareness and traffic
    • Media, U.S. destinations and attractions/ tour operators, retail promotions
      • Online, viral program
    • Phase III – Fall, 2004
      • Launch, support and extend advertising campaign
      • “Directors Chairs” – celebrity tour guides to support creative

    In addition, a good public relations organization recognizes that while no one likes to think about the need for a crisis plan, it is nonetheless one of the most important things to have if and when it becomes needed. As such, Edelman has developed a Five-Step Crisis & Issues Management Plan as part of their work. This five-step process includes:

    • Issues planning/assessment
    • Planning review
    • Develop issue management protocol
    • Build armory of communication materials
    • Testing and validation

    Ms. Johnson stated that the “team” approach utilized by the members of the Visit America Alliance provides them with some interesting foundations upon which they have begun their work on behalf of the U.S. government.

    They are:

    • Not limited by discipline
      • Advertising, PR, DM, online
    • Not limited by geography
      • U.S. entertainment travels the globe
    • Not limited by imagination
      • Harnessing the power of the most creative business in the world

    Their proposed timing for the campaign is:

    • April/May: Development of marketing plan
    • May/June: Benchmarking, strategic and creative research; early PR
    • June 21-25: Launch of campaign during See America Week
    • June/July: Initial public relations and advertising activity concentrated towards the travel trade and last minute bookers, to encourage summer 2004 travel bookings
    • Fall/Winter: ‘Brand USA’ advertising/public relations/cooperative marketing program underway to pre-dispose UK consumers prior to key booking period Dec/Jan/Feb

    Mr. Baker thanked Ms. Johnson, Mr. Griffith and Ms. Bristow, as well as the other members of the team who were both present at the meeting and back in their offices around the globe, for the thorough presentation. He said he hoped their work gave those in attendance a sense of where the pilot U.K. promotion program is headed. He requested that additional suggestions or questions about the presentation or the program itself be directed to him and/or Helen Marano.

    He concluded by saying the marketing plan will be finalized in June and disseminated to the Board at that time.

  6. Board Discussion

    Mr. Rasulo also thanked the team for their presentation and opened the meeting to the members of the Board for their comments.

    Bob Taubman asked if any consideration had been given to seeking tax benefits for the costs for usage rights and production costs. Ms. Johnson said that all costs were included in the production costs as outlined, at approximately $465,000.

    Mr. Rasulo said that endorsements and dollars will separate quickly. Studios will do this for free, nor will celebrities participate for free. He didn’t know if tax benefits could be offered. He also commented that none of the private sector would suggest a cost break-down as was outlined by the VAA team. He asked why travel was going to cost more than $1 million dollars. Ms. Johnson responded that he must have read the chart incorrectly, as travel expenses are estimated at $70,000 (approximately one percent of the total budget).

    Charles Gargano said that the strategy as outlined is a good one. Evaluation is so important, particularly as those who approve budgets want to know the effectiveness of the campaign. Utilizing four percent for research is very important to continue.

    Manny Stamatakis said money should be allocated based on how much cooperative/partnership leveraging can be done. An important test will be if constituencies want to participate, and therefore provide the opportunity for the Board and the U.S. government representatives to be able to say they turned $6 million into $XYZ million. Given that success story, asking Congress for additional funding becomes a much easier task, as there’s solid research behind it to prove out the success of what was accomplished with only $6 million.

    Manny Cortez said that at this level, the campaign winds up being approximately two months’ long. This makes it difficult to quantify effectiveness. He also felt there must be some way to allocate more money to public relations and measurement activities.

    Mr. Rasulo said that effective measurement is key, as is the successful development and implementation of the cooperative program.

    Ms. Jane Rutter, representing Noel Irwin Hentschel, said that it is important for the U.K. tour operators to be included in the cooperative program.

    Mr. Cortez said that Longwoods has been very effective in the past in assessing advertising campaigns. He asked what thought had been given to Longwoods realistically being able to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, given the funding that is assigned to it. Ms. Johnson replied that Longwoods feels that there is sufficient funding to get solid results within the budget as outlined.

    Mr. Stamatakis said that what was presented to the Board was very well done, and showed a very comprehensive approach. He felt that with a degree of consistency, the effort will see positive outcomes. As it was outlined at this meeting, Mr. Stamatakis wanted to know how much money will be allocated to the cooperative campaign, and if additional information is available for the strategy of the cooperative program.

    Ms. Johnson said that that the number of dollars that would be committed to the cooperative program has not yet been finally decided. The Alliance felt it was very important to meet with the Board and other key travel industry partners before finalizing the coop plan. She further stated that when they met with TIA, their representatives said that they already have a strong print program in place. The Alliance does not want to duplicate anyone’s efforts, so additional exploration of current industry programming is also prudent. She said the Alliance wants to make sure that this is a very well-thought out program, and they understand that partnering with the tour operators is a critical element to be considered.

    Rita Cuddihy, on behalf of Bill Marriott, asked how long the television campaign would run. Ms. Bristow said that the current planning would span approximately seven weeks. The reach would be 76% of the ABC1 target audience, with a 6.1 opportunity to see (OTS) rating. 80% of the airtime would occur in the peak viewing period, which would also provide C1C2 target audience reach. The anticipated ABC1 rating points is 450. It is possible that plans could change to increase the amount of TV purchased, but this is the plan at this time.

    Ms. Cuddihy expressed concern about the cooperative program going after travel industry members who are already participating in other programs offered by other organizations, such as TIA. Ms. Johnson assured the meeting attendees that the Alliance would be doing everything in its power to blend programs and messages so that no one is being “double dipped.”

    Ms. Marano said that the intent is to make this a unified program, representative of the whole nation. She said the U.S. government and the contracting team is aware of the need not to “cross wires” on this program. For this reason, she feels it is a good thing that the cooperative program is not yet fully fleshed-out because it is providing an opportunity for the USG and the Alliance to work with the various potential partners to ensure that what is developed will dovetail with what is already in place in the market.

    Ms. Cuddihy also expressed concern about there being multiple web addresses in the marketplace simultaneously, and voiced her support for using TIA’s website. Mr. Baker reiterated that the Alliance continues to talk to and work with TIA on this issue.

    She further said that the USG must give money to TIA for their website to make sure that the website reflected the campaign.

    Mr. Rasulo said that the campaign as presented does not translate well into print, that photo stills from movies don’t sell, and that while film has great emotional strength, print does not sell. He feels celebrity endorsements will work better. He feels the campaign needs to use the people from the movies, not the scenery.

    He additionally said that TIA’s print campaign concept was better than what was presented at this meeting.

    He said that movies are not a great message to get the theme of the “heart and soul of America” across which is critical to the success of the campaign.

    The cooperative campaign has serious development work yet to be done. Simply scrolling a list of names across the bottom of the advertisements does not create anything workable for the partners. The need is to create a donut in the TV advertising around which potential co-op partners can come to the table.

    He doesn’t feel his colleagues are big enough to sign on for a generic campaign. Must be more targeted than what was presented.

    Ms. Cuddihy said that it was hard for her to see how Marriott could co-op on this campaign.

    Mr. Rasulo said that the cooperative components of the campaign may be more successful on the U.K. side. He feels strongly about the notion of the “people and the spirit of the U.S.” as a theme.

    Mr. Sam Wright, speaking on behalf of Henry Silverman, said that the royalty issues must be worked out prior to anything being started.

    On behalf of Glenn Tilton, Martin White asked how the Internet is going to be used in the campaign. Ms. Johnson said that the Alliance must work closely with both TIA and the Visit USA Association UK because they already have an on-line presence. She said there is no current plan to include on-line advertising as part of the mix, but they will use on-line marketing opportunities through their public relations efforts. She further said that the Alliance was so impressed with TIA’s website that they want to be sure that the campaign drives consumers directly to their site. She also said that Edelman will be working with the Motion Picture Arts Association and with studio heads for agreements and arrangements about rights and other possibilities.

    Mr. White expressed concern about how United Airlines would tag on to the campaign. He felt there was more possibility in an on-line scenario than with either the print or TV elements as they were outlined.

    Ms. Cuddihy said there was much more work to be done before this campaign is ready to be implemented.

  7. Public Comments

    Matt Bates, Chairman, Visit USA Association United Kingdom addressed the Board, thanking them for the opportunity to participate in the meeting. He said he had been at the first meeting of the Board in September on Ellis Island, and was excited to see how far the program has progressed in that time.

    He also expressed thanks for the fact that the Visit USA Association U.K. has been included in the development stages of the program. He and the members of the association feel that this campaign will work for them and for the United Kingdom. They believe it has the elements that touch the British holidaymakers and leisure travelers.

    He believes the mediums outlined in the presentation are just about right for the U.K. market and for the Visit USA Association members. The cooperative program provides a range of opportunities for members of all sizes. He feels the flexibility demonstrated in the campaign’s elements is very important for the marketplace. He said the Association members want to participate, and he feels confident that they can do that based on what was presented at the meeting.Mr. Bates feels that fulfillment is the likely place for the Visit USA Association itself to participate in the program. They currently operate a number of fulfillment programs, including a website, a 900#, and a printed Visit USA brochure that directs consumers to tour operators who have product for sale. He said that their entire program is brandable and adaptable to this campaign.

    The Visit USA Association is more than keen to continue to cooperate with the USG on this program, and to make their fulfillment mechanisms work for this campaign.

    Regardless of what developments ensue on the creative, the fulfillment will be just as relevant and just as potent.

    He thanked the Chair once again for the opportunity to speak and to present the viewpoints of the Visit USA Association U.K.

    Larry Cohen, Northeast Media said he represented Phoenix Publishing and the Daily Telegraph to U.S. suppliers interested in gaining business from the U.K. He suggested that the Alliance should consider participating in an on-going cooperative advertising program his organization already has in place with the Daily Telegraph. He said it was a logically priced pay-to-play effort that works quite well. This program normally takes the format of a 16-page supplement. He feels they have been successful because of the breadth of their advertisers. They have a full spectrum of price ranges for participation, starting at £1000. He went on to say that it is possible to put together a cooperative program that leverages the campaign. He stressed the need to provide affordable buy-in rates for organizations of all sizes, particularly those based in the U.K.

    Patricia McNally, National Scenic Byways program of the U.S. Department of Transportation said that they were pleased to be working with the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and other federal partners on the furthering of the depth and breadth of tourism product available in the United States. She said she would include the U.K. program components in an upcoming issue of her quarterly newsletter and solicit input from the National Scenic Byways as to films and television shows that may have been shot using their Byways.

    Betsy O’Rourke, Travel Industry Association of America, said that TIA represents the entire travel and tourism industry, with approximately 2500 members. They launched their U.K. campaign in 2000. It now includes newspaper inserts, direct mail, a SeeAmerica Pavilion at World Travel Market and See America Week in London – all of which ties directly back to their website,

    She said that should the USG campaign include a website, TIA feels very strongly that it should be their website. They believe that getting the consumer directly to purchase-able product is critical to the success of any campaign. She also said that a cooperative program is very important. TIA has had 129 partners in their U.K. program to date, and she echoed Ms. Cuddihy’s comment that it is not wise to put any program into the marketplace that is not fully integrated with what is already being done. She also cautioned that the timing of the campaign will be very important. She feels that a Winter ’05 launch makes the most sense.

    TIA will continue to support this campaign as it develops, and encouraged the USG and the Alliance to leverage all of the available assets to the best degree possible.

  8. Adjournment

    There being no further business, and no additional public comments, Ms. Heizer officially closed the meeting of the Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board at 11:55 a.m.