DES: Madrid, the Spanish Capital, recently launched a TV and print media campaign aimed primarily at the foreign tourist market.
TINA: The TV commercial follows the conventional destination model of fast-frame-editing of a variety of city-scapes, concluding with the immortal words: 'Madrid only happens in Madrid.'
DES: The print ad, which arguably is just as poorly executed, shows an anonymous city landmark plus the obligatory new Madrid logo and web URL. But no caption, no message, no story.
TINA: No wonder Madrid continues to under-perform Spain's second city - Barcelona - in terms of foreign tourist bed-nights as well as credit-card spend. A trend which began long before last year's terrorist attack on the Capital.
DES: OK Tina, let's see if we can come up with a decent big brand idea to help make this once great destination, great again.
TINA: Well, first of all, I would suggest a bi-focused strategy, inspired by Brussels, whose local brand focus is 'Capital of Belgium', but whose global focus is 'Capital of Europe'.
DES: Let's start with Madrid's local focus.
TINA: As most Madrilenos originally hail from outside the Madrid region, the Capital should launch a programme of events to recognise and celebrate the unique identities and cultures of the various Iberian regions - from Galicia in the North, to Andalucia in the South.
DES: A powerful local brand strategy in the making. But let's now move on to the more difficult but immensely rewarding, global focus.
TINA: Here, the clue for a big brand idea can be found in Madrid's history.
DES: The city was once powerfully positioned as the capital of the world's first inter-continental empire.
TINA: Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Spain ruled most of South America, Central America, and much of North America, with colonies as far afield as the Philippines.
DES: Today, however, while the great Spanish empire has been consigned to the history books, its language and culture continues to be a major influence, creating rich and dynamic Hispanic flavours - throughout the world.
TINA: In fact, the Spanish language is right up there, with Mandarin and English, as one of the world's major mother-tongues.
DES: With so much Hispanic cultural evolution going on, the Spanish capital has once again a unique opportunity to re-position itself as the champion of a 21st century, global Hispanic market. A brand position that will not only attract the Hispanic community, but also non-Hispanics, from countries such as America, Britain, and Germany, to name just three, all wanting to visit the original and authentic 'mother-lode'.
TINA: So move over Buenos Aires and Mexico City and....Bienvenido a Madrid: Capital Mundial de las Cultures Unidas de Nueva Hispanica.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
" To find your destination's big brand idea, first look internally at its history, geography or people. Then look externally for a new market category to seed the big brand idea, so it can grow and flourish.... keeping a firm focus on a fabulous future".