Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Urban Myth"

New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp president Mark Romig presents an interesting word choice here.
Romig sought to clear up notions that tourism officials are actively trying to bring more college kids, armed with hand-grenades, into the city.

There’s been an urban myth that a large portion of our marketing message is geared towards this girls and boys gone wild type of audience,” Romig said. “Less than 10 percent of our media mix, Buzzfeed, Flavor Pill, hits an age group of 18-24 years,” Romig explained.

In fact, the “sweet spot” for tourism is 35-65, Romig said. Mature visitors generally have more money and more “discretionary time.”  
I'm not sure the age demos you are targeting via your "media mix" necessarily says anything at all as to the content of the message you're sending.  Seems to me the "sweet spot" is grabbing visitors who have the "discretionary time" and money you're looking for but who also respond to the branding you've chosen to emphasize.  For example, it is possible to market a "girls and boys gone wild" atmosphere to dirty old men with money.

More importantly, the notion that our tourism mullahs are pursuing this angle is in no way an "urban myth."  It is the recommendation of a consultant's report the New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau commissioned and then tried to keep out of the public record.  So Romig is not only being disingenuous about the overall marketing strategy, he's also insinuating that its critics are conspiracy nuts of some sort.  

This kind of snide dismissal is becoming more common among the wealth in this city and its defenders in the media, by the way.  Expect more "conspiracy theories" to proliferate in 2014.

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