The Think of Mexico strategy includes YouTube videos from the 32 states of the country that appeal to the memories that Mexicans have of their trips around the country.
In the trash. There went the plans that “Visit Mexico” had to promote the country for tourism in 2020. Carlos González, general director of the independent identity that is aligned with the objectives of the Ministry of Tourism, explains that the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) forced them to scrap all the strategies they had in mind and create short-term solutions to deal with the health crisis.
“When the news of COVID-19 came to us, how it was progressing in other countries and then the first case in Mexico occurred, it was that we decided to bring together a team of experts to completely change the digital strategy, advance investments and generate a campaign of communication that will adapt to the new needs of travelers, “says González.
This is how ‘Think of Mexico’ came about, the digital promotion campaign that in the first stage aims to remind local travelers of the importance of staying home and yearning for a new tour of the country. But that, once the health contingency is over, it aims to attract international tourists.
For the strategy, which was led by the public relations company APCO Worldwide Service –an agency in charge of the crisis in Mexico by the AH1N1–, the team dedicated a percentage of the more than 400 million pesos of total investment to the development of a new online platform that was launched on May 15.
“We had to find a way to generate new content, we completely changed the digital approach, as well as our priorities,” says the CEO of Visit México. This stage, which is still on the air, includes YouTube videos of the 32 states of the country that appeal to the nostalgia that Mexicans feel when remembering their trips.
At the same time, the team selected eight international tourist destinations to start the exchange of travelers after the health contingency, which are Canada, Australia, the United States, Colombia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Turkey. “Although international tourism is important, 80% of it is from the national market,” he says.
For Didier Lagae, CEO and founder of the Marco de Comunicación consultancy, this is a wise decision, since according to studies carried out by his company, 85% of Mexicans bet on local tourism in the short term.
A good strategy?
However, the expert, who in 2017 led a strategy to increase the number of tourists from Spain to Mexico, managing to go from 20 to 40 million travelers, assures that before thinking of a tourism promotion strategy, government authorities have the obligation to ensure the welfare of people.
“People want to go to a responsible, committed, and health-safe country. The latter is the biggest concern of 42% of travelers, so it is necessary for countries to communicate it and in Visit Mexico spots if these concerns are not calmed, ”says the author of the book ‘Marca País, un pais as a brand. ‘
This coincides with Laurence Newell, director of the consulting and evaluation strategy for Brand Finance brands, who also indicates that the coronavirus pandemic will reduce the value of the Mexico brand by around 10% from 2019 to 2020, which accumulates to the fall that the value of the country brand had from 2018 to 2019: having been in 13th place worldwide, a year ago it was placed in 18th position with an economic spill of 8.35 billion dollars.
It is clear that the pandemic is not something that will only affect Mexico. Therefore, Newell says, it is good to have this type of communication campaign to contain the impact that the health crisis has generated.
“The worst mistake a country can make is to stop advertising and position itself on the global stage as a brand. I had the opportunity to work in the analysis exercise of Peru and its value grew significantly because Mexico decided to get off the air in the United States, so the South American country took advantage of it and has benefited the most, ”says the Brand Finance executive.
“This does not mean that advertising has an immediate and obvious impact, but it is better to be present than absent,” he adds.
The value of Mexico
Despite the fact that as a country, Mexico has not been entirely clear and has not created a scenario of uncertainty for national and international tourists, Eduardo Calderón, founding partner and CEO of MBLM, the agency that was in charge of creating the concept of Marca México in 2005, says that there are different characteristics of the country that must be highlighted to attract the attention of travelers.
For example, to emphasize gastronomy, in the archaeological zones, on the beaches, which is a very attractive element for foreigners. “But you have to be careful not to be distracted by other brands. In the spots [from Visit Mexico] we see Ford trucks and immediately think that it is an advertisement for the brand, ”says Calderón.
According to Carlos González, CEO of Visit México, these two brands, along with companies such as Hoteles City Express, Vidanta, Marriott Hotels, and Hilton, and organizations such as the Communication Council – which contributed between 250 and 300 million pesos in media value – and the National Tourist Business Council (CNET), have become strategic allies for the ‘Think in Mexico’ campaign, which will culminate with the start of the Tourist Tianguis in Merida Yucatan.
“From this moment on we will end the campaign in a context of crisis, but we will follow it through another strategy,” says González.
The Mazatlan Post