Houston is different things to different people.
To me, it’s my home–I am a Native Houstonian–but to others, in distant parts of the country, it’s more like a mythical enigma…which the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to clarify in a series of new marketing pitches being rolled-out next week.
“The campaign, itself, is intended to be the next evolution of the “My Houston” campaign,” according to Greg Ortale, President and CEO of the GHCVB.
Ortale is not a native Houstonian, but he got here as quickly as he could a few years ago to head up the Convention Bureau.
He says he was so blown away by so much that has been done to improve Houston.
“The can-do spirit was really evident when you see all of the things with Minute Maid and Toyota and Reliant,” he enthused.
Ortale is working that spirit into the latest, “Houston-is” campaign.
“Houston is Hip,” “Houston is Tasty,” “Houston is Inspired,” featuring the Trendsetters in Our Town: musicians, professional athletes, fashion gurus and urban planners–the individuals giving Houston its cool factor.
“Actually, they are the one’s who gave us the clue for the lead-in for the new campaign,” confided Ortale, “because each statement started out with, ‘Houston is.’”
Ortale loves to spread the Gospel of H-town.
“We are a mile-wide and an inch-deep, in some respects, but there’s something for everybody,” he preaches.
“There’s no interest that a visitor might have that we can’t accommodate.”
There was an ill-fated push, once upon a time, called “Houston’s Worth It,” that featured stuff about the Bayou City we knew about, and outsiders suspected:
Silhouettes of roaches, pictures of construction barrels, and photos of hurricane damage.
“It did get people talking, but talking about all the wrong things,” groused Ortale.
The new “Houston Is” campaign is a more positive, uplifting series of marketing pitches.
“It is intended to focus on the people of the city, as well as all of the uniqueness, particularly as it impacts arts and culture and cuisine, as well as all the other attractions,” says Ortale.
“Houston is Hip,” “Houston is Tasty,” “Houston is Inspired” hopes to convince the nattering naybobs of negativity about what Houston really is.
“We’re… trying to alter some perceptions, says Ortale.