Fayetteville tourism bureau reveals new branding, ad campaign

by Jennifer Joyner ([email protected]) 919 views 

Experience Fayetteville has a new logo and website, and it will soon launch a new marketing campaign aimed at attracting more tourism to the city. Agency officials revealed the updated promotional material at an event on Tuesday (April 4) at the Fayetteville Town Center.

Executive Director Molly Rawn said the rebrand is intended to better represent Fayetteville to key Northwest Arkansas tourism markets like Dallas, Oklahoma City, Little Rock and Tulsa.

BLKBOXLabs of Fayetteville designed the new logo, and Pixel Perfect Creative of Little Rock designed the new website. The Sells Agency, with offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville, created a new video ad that will run online and possibly on television in those markets, Rawn said.

Rawn joined Experience Fayetteville, formerly Fayetteville Visitors Bureau, in August, and the process for the rebrand began in October.

The new campaign breaks down Experience Fayetteville’s target audience into three specific categories.

The first is the “culturalist,” who travels in order to engage in the overall culture of an area. The second is the naturalist, someone who travels to the area to experience outdoor activities. Rawn said this aspect of tourism lends itself to collaboration with other visitor bureaus in the region and statewide, especially in key areas like cycling.

The third category Rawn pointed to is the weekender, a visitor from a nearby community who is looking for a day trip or a weekend trip. Rawn said Fayetteville is an “easy drive” for much of its target tourism markets.

“We consistently punch above our weight class in terms of offering robust, diverse and affordable experiences,” she said.

The weekender audience is one where Rawn sees the potential to market around specific events and happenings in Fayetteville.

“We are already having success bringing people in for Razorback games, the Roots Festival, Bikes, Blues & BBQ, a new show debuting at TheatreSquared or the Walton Arts Center, a show at George’s (Majestic Lounge. We are able to take people who are already coming here for these specific things and build upon that,” Rawn said.

Rawn sees the new logo and overall branding as being true to Fayetteville’s identity.

“Now, we really have a brand that’s reflective who we are,” she said. “Fayetteville is a melting pot of attraction, restaurants, entertainment venues, people, natural beauty and night life.”

Shayne Hart, CEO and COO BLKBox, described it as a “gumbo of stuff” that make Fayetteville unique.

“We wanted to reflect that Fayetteville is not a singular experience,” Hart said, pointing to aspects of the local culture he hopes are reflected in the logo, including its natural beauty, vibrancy and eclecticism.

The rebranding effort was approved by Experience Fayetteville’s governing body, the Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission, in spring 2016, with a contract with BLKBox for $37,500.

The organization plans to spend $14,800 on the new website.

Rawn said the rebrand is coming at a good time, funding-wise, with hotel, motel and restaurant sales tax receipts having increased steadily over several years. In fact, the year-end total for 2016 was $3.3 million, marking an 8% increase over 2015.

The Advertising & Promotion Commission has a budget of $4.2 million for 2017, with $3.4 million of it coming from HMR tax receipts, which is divided between the commission and the city’s parks and recreation department.

Rental revenue from the Fayetteville Town Center is projected by A&P to bring in $598,500 this year, and revenue from the Clinton House Museum is expected to be $53,000.