COLUMBUS, Ohio – There is no single symbol that defines Ohio – no iconic Grand Canyon, no Statue of Liberty, no renowned thoroughbred race.
Which made finding a new brand for the state’s tourism campaign both a blessing and a curse.
What can you find in Ohio?
* Some of the world’s best roller coasters.
* A massive collection of military aviation vehicles.
* Stunning scenery, dynamic cities, top-notch museums and a half-dozen big-league sports teams.
And perhaps more importantly, you can find a connection with people who are most meaningful to you, at a destination that’s close by and affordable.
Whatever you’re looking for, you can “find it here.”
Tourism officials are hoping so, anyway.
TourismOhio last night unveiled its new brand — “Ohio. find it here.” — the result of months of intense research designed to make the state a more inviting place to visit.
The new brand will be the focal point of a $6 million campaign in 2016 to boost visitor numbers to Ohio, both from in-state vacationers and travelers from nearby states.
In 2014, Ohio saw a record 200 million visits, up 2.6 percent over the previous year. The economic impact of those visits: $31 billion in direct spending.
The new brand officially replaces “Ohio, So Much To Discover,” which was introduced more than a decade ago and has been phased out in recent years. The new slogan will be used in ads, on the tourism department’s website and other promotional material. Local visitors bureaus and individual attractions can use it, as well.
“Hopefully, we’ll use it for years and years to come,” said Mary Cusick, director of TourismOhio. “The beauty of it is its broad appeal.”
It may also be used beyond tourism promotion – to push economic development in Ohio, for example, or encourage people to relocate here, in the way that Pure Michigan has evolved into an anthem for that state…