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The ad campaign is making false promises....pictures of people checking into what looks to be nice, upscale hotels....what will people think when those are nowhere to be found? The shopping is not anywhere close to that offered in the surrounding cities, the restaurants are the same chains that are available in the cities where these tourists live. They shoulda kept it real....promoted history, culture, upgrading what assets there are & then branded the campaign trail. 750Gs woulda gone a long way improving the park, zoo, etc....
I'd be happy to contribute some time to brainstorming ideas but only if there is a realistic chance of those ideas being heard by the people that need to hear them.
I have zero at stake in this campaign, other than that of a citizen like yourself. I support the effort, but, like you, I don't agree with the concept. I have experience in marketing and putting on events, none with the current players in this venture. That experience is why I have the opinion that they are doing some things right.
I agree that they should have had more community input. How often are you successful in getting your ideas heard if you wait for someone to ask?
I would like to form a committee of some kind very soon. Interested? Anyone? There are ways of getting things done and I am prepared to try.
Thanks again, Edith.
The greatest asset of Victoria is Riverside Park....clean it up, have a canoe, boat rental area, open up the closed areas, spend some $$ on improving roadways out there, especially in the closed areas, make it more than 1 way in & out back in the "circle". Camping, fishing, boats, good wholesome family fun....go from there. That would be a better start than a "bootfest" which I & many many other don't "get". It's not Victoria.
I like Codes ideas better...a little tongue in cheek, but clever & actually fits. Victoria does have royalty & the one thing it is known for, besides being 2 hrs away from everything, is the # of wealthy people per capita. When people find out I'm from there, they assume I'm rich (I wish).
You are awfully touchy about this subject which you say you have no stake in...I have been suspicious of your motivations before you posted this blog, now I am sure you have some stake in this campaign. All I can say is maybe y'all should've hosted some roundtable discussions with random ( & I do mean random, not cherry picked) citizens of Victoria & with people in your target audience. Gotten some honest reaction to the different logos, slogans & brands you were considering to see which one was the best fit. This one, IMO, was a miss.
Before I forget, I know Henry.
He's in the phone book and should be happy to talk to you. Just give him a call.
thank you, edith.
Well, good luck with your investment and effort. I know you will make every effort to insure success. I look forward to the result.
"Secret agenda? Your words, not mine, but since you brought it up, care to reveal your agenda?" My agenda is to see a positive change in my community, through input from the very people who make up the community.
"You sitting at your desk with a list of ideas does what for this campaign?" For this campaign, nothing. I'm trying to think of other ways to go besides the current path.
"If you are not working at the behest of Bise and Vivian, then who are you going to get to execute the ideas?" I don't asume that those two are the only ones in town that can get things done. I do assume, however, that if someone were to approach them with a good idea they would be open to listen. If they agree, great to have them aboard, if not, then so be it.
"I am not clear why anyone would persist in asking for information that was not solicited in the first place." I am soliciting. You don't have to be the chamber director or cvb director to change the status quo.
"Simply repeating that I am not 'getting it' only firms up your avoidance position. I get it." Avoidance of what exactly? I have stated my position numerous times, you cause me to repeat.
"Isn't there a golf tournament somewhere calling your name?" I wish.
I believe that if a really good idea is shared, that can get some momentum, then it can take off. I have some experience and some ideas, but that alone won't do it. I'm looking for people and ideas that I hope can come together to make something great. Are you opposed to that? If you're really that opposed to the CVB/CC campaign, then why don't you join in the discussion to create something by regular community members?
Secret agenda? Your words, not mine, but since you brought it up, care to reveal your agenda?
You sitting at your desk with a list of ideas does what for this campaign?
If you are not working at the behest of Bise and Vivian, then who are you going to get to execute the ideas?
I am not clear why anyone would persist in asking for information that was not solicited in the first place.
Simply repeating that I am not 'getting it' only firms up your avoidance position. I get it.
Isn't there a golf tournament somewhere calling your name?
good points vox. the $750K is for marketing Victoria, not just one event, but you're right about putting on a good festival for less. $750K is actually a pretty good price to market a city for an entire year, including events.
i don't know for sure what the downfall of the Dillo Fest was, but I've heard the stories about certain so-and-so's not wanting it to continue. i've also heard that the name is copywritten, which would explain why no one has been able to take it out of mothballs. I heard Henry Wolff may have some insight. Anyone know him? If the name is in fact not copywritten, then I would say that's a great start. If it is, who owns it and is it for sale?
No edith, I'm have not been commissioned to lead. To reiterate my point to you for the umpteenth time...all I have really heard is the campaign sucks. It's a waste of money. They don't know what they're doing. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, bitch and moan. I'm trying to do something constructive. How is it that you feel the need to accuse me of some kind of secret agenda? I've said I didn't like the creative vision, but it is something to help the community. I'm sure that your vast marketing knowledge is staggering and you know best.
The thing is that with a proper event (festival of some sort in most cases) there is very little you have to do in terms of marketing. Certainly not $750K worth. You could probably get away with a top-of-the-line festival for $200K or less that will:
1. Bring people (likely thousands) into the city on an annual basis. While these folks are here they can see for themselves everything else Victoria has to offer without having to read about it in Texas Monthly or on a billboard.
2. Become popular enough that it basically markets itself year after year--people come to expect it. Think Yorktown Western Days, Cuero Turkeyfest, Yoakum Tom-Tom festival, Luling Watermelon Thump, etc.
3. Create an identity for Victoria without having to spend thousands to come up with something that Victoria isn't. Think Armadillo Confab.
Victoria has had popular festivals and events in the past, but for whatever reason they are all long gone. I know a portion of the marketing campaign is to create a signature event...I just don't know why that isn't the primary or sole focus.
I can't offer a suggestion or idea because it's already been done and done well. My guess is that a vocal few thought the music was too loud, there was too much traffic, and/or too many 'outsiders' coming into the city, so these things got shut down.
Were you commissioned to navigate the citizens of the Crossroads through the Campaign?
wrong again edith. re-read the original post on this blog. let me know if you still don't understand.
from an earlier post by me - "Personally, I don't like the boot campaign either. However, it's something, which I think has been long overdue. I've lived in Victoria for almost 30 years and there really hasn't been much going on with regards to marketing the community."
All I can figure is you're waiting on someone to suggest putting some Bluebonnets in those boots, right?
i think one of the biggest assets that victoria has is riverside park. it's a huge area that has a year round river running through it. if the city/county would clean up the banks to make it more accessable, open parts of it up to overnight camping, capitalize on the anglers and kayakers/canoeists by having a store in the boat ramp area, we could really see it become a revenue generator. Not to mention the enjoyment we would have as citizens.
Edith - obviously you fail to see my point, so I will spell it out for you again, in simple language.
Don't like...try to change. uugggg.
complaints with no help in coming up with alternatives or solutions are just complaints. personally, i don't like to just sit around and complain.
no, i'm not randy or bridgette. i have no connection to either. i will say that i have been in contact with randy in an effort to discuss what i can do and share some input i have on the direction the marketing of our city is going. so far, he has been open and cordial. however, if that was to change i will let you know.
Come on guys its simple! Go to the first game on the list...right to Falken's maze....
Yep, I'm local and I've been around long enough to understand what Victoria has to offer and what's just smoke and mirrors.
Edith, I think you're on to something about the motivation with these questions.
Holein1, what is your point?
Are you Bridgette Bise or Randy Vivian?
Otherwise, what is it you hope to accomplish by gleaning all the ideas from the forum? Are you going somewhere with this?
I don't understand your interest after the fact, so to speak.
I guess the first think in a brainstorming session would be to list Victoria's Unique Selling Points and go from there.
So...what are they?
code, it's a start.
i do see someone yelling that we ain't got no dang royals here, never have, never will. this England, so why pretend to be something we're not.
A royal theme?
Victoria, Queen of the Gulf CoastPictures and film of Queen Vic enjoying Victoria's restaurants ala Burger King's King, a serious message delivered in a light hearted manner.
Enjoying the WEALTH of activitiesEat like a KingBe treated like royaltyetc etc etc
Anyway I'm just streaming my consciousness here
um, ok local girl. i guess you'll give your opinion for free but outside of that you want to get paid. cool. yep, nothing wrong with that. you are a local.
As soon as I am paid as much as the "experts" who came up with the branding campaign, gloss ads in Texas monthly, and Bring your boots, I will be glad to produce more relevant, timely, honest campaigns.
Thanks for trying Edith.
Anyone else care to offer up some suggestions?
What kinds of things can we do?
Oaky, holein1, I tried to come up with something to contribute, but I'm drawing a blank.
Bringing the Hooters Golf Tour here was already taken.
I appreciate your candid responses and also your interest in driving a conversation.
One thing I failed to mention in my initial post was, my speaking out at council meetings and on blogs such as these were/are not my initial voicing of concerns. For about six months two years ago I tried voicing my concerns regarding a number of issues in written correspondence to council members. I addressed my concerns to three people, one that represents the district where I live, one that represents the district where my business is located and one who represents the super district that covers both my residence and my business. One council member was responsive and for the most part the other two responded by saying I was uninformed, didn't understand the issues or one actually told me in an open meeting I hated the city [council]. This is essentially how anyone who has an opinion differing from the "powers" is treated.
If you haven't seen the council meeting from the 18th, check it out online and see how a very nice woman who raised a very legitimate concern regarding expending of taxpayer dollars to implement something (closing of a road in Woodway) that had not been approved was treated.
If my voicing of conerns is labeled as complaining, so be it. I "complained" for almost three months about the dangers of the hike/bike trail crossing on Stockbauer and was told for two months it was not an issue. Finally one of the "powers" decided it was an issue and the crossing is closed.
I have found out, and not in just dealing with council but dealing with boards and committees in a business environment over many years, if your ideas are not the popular ones you have to take a different tact in presenting them. There are many personal agendas being forced by some on council and in other areas of leadership. Regardless of the source of funds; sales tax, fees, hotel tax, etc. ALL of these are public funds and those elected to represent the people must be accountable. The concept of accountability is easy, the implementation here in Victoria is difficult.
hole, I'll make this quick as I am going to Austin tomorrow to shop and spend my hard-earned money doing things in Austin...but I digress...
Seriously, don't you think if Bridgette Bise and Randy Vivian wanted the branding project and the resulting 'awareness' campaign to be a community effort, it would have been that way from the get-go? School children would have contributed art and posters with slogans. A jingle writing contest would be held. Local folks doing the things she IS promoting would have been featured in the ads.
And I have no idea what Bise and Vivian want. We get the updates after the checks are written. They apparently forgot they needed community buy-in.
Edith, I don't think I said you were wrong. I said that people who complain, could offer real suggestions. You have your opinion, which I respect, but why not back that opinion up with something other than it's a bad idea and a waste of money.
If you don't like trash on the side of the road, don't just complain. Pick it up. You don't have to be a professional, or even skilled to offer ideas. They're just ideas.
The "awareness campaign" is broad and promotes a multitude of things we have to offer in Victoria. It's going to take time, and you're right..."At some point, there will be an accounting of what was invested and what was returned. At that time, the City leaders will know for sure if they made a good investment, rather than just being told they made a good investment."
How do you know she doesn't want to hear what you have to say if you haven't tried?
Hole-- I know where the money comes from; I was actually at that City Council meeting in October where she explained that this was not an 'advertising' campaign, but an 'awareness' campaign. I know there will continue to be more money and more requests for that money.
I have no interest in organizing a festival or anything of that nature; I know where my talents lie, and this sort of activity is not it. I wish you the very best of luck with pulling your festival together. It's hard work, and I admire your investment.
And no, I have not tried to meet with Bridgette Bise. Why would I meet with her? She's not interested in what I have to say. She's seen all the criticism of this project, not just from me, and discovering that folks are not buying in hasn't caused her to do anything differently, has it? I haven't seen any calls for committee positions, have you?
She was given free reign with the money. At some point, there will be an accounting of what was invested and what was returned. At that time, the City leaders will know for sure if they made a good investment, rather than just being told they made a good investment.
Yes, there will be more hotel/motel and sales tax money. They can give her another chunk and another and, how does the saying go? Three-quarters of a million here, three-quarters of a million there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money.
And just for the record, I am really growing weary of being told about myself and others, that when we have a differing opinion than someone else, we are wrong, or not contributing or whatever. I have no problem with promoting Victoria. I have a problem with the initial investment in a plan that was vague at best.
The thing is, the money came from hotel & motel tax. I'm sure you don't think that we won't generate any more.
You have been pretty vocal. What ideas do you have? Have you tried to have a meeting/conversation with Bridgette? I haven't, so I'm not sure how hard it is/isn't to pin her down. As a member of the business community, I've found that most people are open to ideas. Ideas, not blame or harsh critics.
If you don't like something, try to get involved. Maybe there are some committees or board positions available. All you have to do is ask. That's how most of the people in those positions get there. The key is to voice concern or support in a positive, professional manner if you want to be taken seriously.
I have been working on a festival idea for awhile. I'm going to meet with some people, do more research and put together a formal proposal. Maybe it will happen, or maybe it won't. At least I'll have done something.
Hole--perhaps you will have better luck than some of us others who tried to get conversation going.
I think it is clear that Bridgette Bise has a specific set of plans for Victoria. She came and held her hand out, and the City was too happy to give her boot full of money. I don't recall any committees or avenues for the locals to speak out, except here in this forum. The opportunity for community buy-in has been practically nil. Is it any wonder that the community support is weak?
I think there are folks who have some good ideas, but if they are not the same as what Bridgette Bise has in mind, I don't think she is interested in hearing them.
And, she's spent most of the money--how would you take on a good idea if there was one to surface?
Nice try at what? Trying to get a conversation going?
The point of this is to get the people, that apparently were not given a voice the first time around, to come up with ideas. Nothing more.
Personally, I don't like the boot campaign either. However, it's something, which I think has been long overdue. I've lived in Victoria for almost 30 years and there really hasn't been much going on with regards to marketing the community. I worked with a guy back in the 90's that was part of a marketing campaign in the 80's, or could've been the 70's. He told me the idea then was "Victoria...Crossroads to fun!" Lame, but again it was something.
The Mac Fest, a celebration of the Macaroni Rail Road. IMO, not a great idea, but it was something. Heck, they even tried to get Kraft to sponsor the thing.
I think we all agree that the community should be doing something.
Again, the purpose of this blog is to get some real ideas, not broad statements like "there's nothing to do here so why promote it, blah, blah, blah."
If there's nothing here worth promoting, then let's do some brainstorming and come up with ideas. You never know, it could actually turn into something.
@Jeff - I think your comments are good. I disagree with some of them but all in all good stuff. I'm not looking to retool something that's in the works, but input for the future.
Are we all going to just stand around and applaud what we like and complain about what we don't, or are we going to help?
I believe that there 2 kinds of people in the world, those that stand around and watch and those that do. Succeed or fail, IMO doing is better than not.
Nice try holein1, but Jeff Williams is right. They didn't want the community input, or they would have asked.
Other than Randy Vivian and the three-quarters of a million dollars from the City, Victoria didn't have any input in this project. It was outsourced all over the country.
Jeff Williams, good points all and sound thinking.
Holein 1 you make a valid point regarding offering up suggestions.
I tried this last year when council was considering the funding. I suggested the scope of the program be narrowed, a rifle shot as opposed to a shotgun blast. I didn't blieve then and I continue to hold this opinion today that you need to have everything in place before you start throwing huge sums of money into marketing. You should have a narrow focus (sports events as an example) that you promote, do them well and then build on it. To try and promote; zoo, golf cources, Bach Festival, plays, Symphony, museums, retail, Riverside park, etc., etc. all at the same time is not the most effective approach.
I also suggested that the budget be incrementally increased rather then going from $200K the previous year to $750K in one jump. Again from a business standpoint, at least in private sector, you don't almost quadruple your marketing budget until you are ready to deliver the product you are promoting.
In addition I suggested the baseline for measuring success should not be 2009, the lowest hotel tax receipts in four years, rather another year that was middle ground. My point was improvement in tax receipts will be seen without any marketing program just because the economy was down in 2009. History tells me that when improvment is seen it will be associated with this marketing program rather then acknowledge the true market conditions of an improving economy. A false sense of success without measurable results is not beneficial. If you can't measure it you can't manage it.
Now as to specific suggestions for jingles, themes, ad copy, etc. I don't believe "management" is going to listen to the input of citizens any more on this subject then on most other subjects brought to them. I feel there should have been more input from regular every day people into ideas about what is marketable in Victoria. Someone suggested on another thread a contest to produce the jingle lyrics. This would have been great and I feel the same approach should have been used to determine at least the general focus. Bring your boots just does not seem to create a vision of the type of tourist venues that we have here. "Street of Ten Friends", "Best kept secret in Texas", "Center of the crossroads" or any number of other points of focus would make more sense to me then bring your boots.
Again, I hope what is being done produces results as there is a tremendous sum of money being invested. Your point is valid but I am afraid it is too late in the process to retool.
Good point, holein1. If you do not like the current campaign, suggest alternative approaches instead of just complaining about the ones they are using.