You know I constantly talk about the need to market the heck out of the province as a location for business.

Increasingly I am becoming convinced that we need to market the heck out of the province to its own citizens. If we aren’t ‘true believers’ than how can we expect outsiders to be?

From Marketing Magazine:

It’s been two years in the making, but Manitoba’s new brand strategy launched yesterday with the slogan “Spirited Energy.”

The brand website, spiritedenergy.ca, serves as both a brand primer and as a pitch to Manitobans to support the brand. But it could be a Herculean task convincing the province’s population, and then the world, that Manitoba means Spirited Energy.

The evening before the launch, a Winnipeg TV station ran a web poll asking viewers if a new brand would improve the province’s image–and 79% of 600 respondents said no.

Brand Manitoba is also being promoted with a government-backed, million-dollar ad campaign about to unfold, plus $600,000 for brand development as well as private funding. Overall, the rebranding project will cost $2.1 million, with the government commitment to carrying the campaign for a year.

I don’t know, I kind of like it. But what’s the deal with the Premier and his tie? Also, a pet pieve of mine is the fact that Canadians seem to be deathly scared of our winters. I have seen numerous promotional videos and such and you rarely see shots of the winter. Well, folks, there is snow on the ground for upwards of seven months so get used to it. There’s a two minute video of Manitoba with the full range of shots urban-rural, native, music, arts, business, agriculture, tourism, etc. but nada on the winter – except an 0.5 second snippet of a polar bear.

That would be a bit like Iceland branding itself as a beach destination.

Other than that, bravo. Manitoba, like New Brunswick, needs some work.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Clearly though we see the disparity, since 79% of Manitobans disagree with you. So are Manitobans ‘stupid’?

    What seems stupid is committing to a million dollar program that 80% of the people don’t want. Perhaps its not so much the packaging thats the issue.

    We’ve been through this before, why would anybody invest in NB, even the feds, when the province doesn’t even bother? Next week Ontario releases its Ontario Savings Bonds, does NB even HAVE such a thing? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it.

    I would agree that without legislation you need at least to get people to try to buy local. Too many people jump on the Wal Mart, dollar store bandwagon and don’t even consider where things are made. Again, the vast majority of manufacturing in Vermont and New Hampshire is INTERNAL. It doesn’t even go out the border. Apart from Co-ops I can’t think of a single item that works that way in NB. As I said at Alec’s site, if you go to the duty free shop at the woodstock border you can buy maple syrop-from Ontario. That’s simply crazy.

    But again, it goes back to media. We see what they want us to see. You think Irvings are going to feature ads of competitors or would be competitors? In fact, because Irving is in so many industries there is little economic coverage at all. So the trouble is, with no venues, all you are going to get is a press conference on a new campaign with a website few people will go to, and the issue dies right there-which of course is why people don’t support spending money there.

    Forget the veneer, fix the substance and perhaps that table will stand.