Victoria tourism board scraps slogan too similar to old beer ad

Andrew Duffy - Times Colonist


A week after Destination Greater Victoria unveiled its new name and tag line, the tourism marketing organization has been forced back to the drawing board looking for a new catchphrase.

That is to say its advertising agency has been told to do better.

Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey at unveiling of group’s new name, logo and tag line. Sept. 4, 2018
Photograph By Adrian Lam/Times Colonist

After being informed by the Times Colonist — thanks to the eagle eye and sharp memory of a reader — that the new tag line, “Oceans apart from ordinary,” was eerily similar to beer maker Heineken’s “Oceans apart from the ordinary” in a 1970s print-ad campaign, the tourism group is scrapping the tag line.

Paul Nursey, chief executive of Destination Greater Victoria, said with so many ads floating around the world there are bound to be instances of duplication. He noted Heineken’s catchphrase was actually ad copy and not a trademarked tag line, so it was missed when ad agency Destination Think! did a trademark search.

“We took a couple of days to think about it and regrouped with our stakeholders and decided we wanted something that was our own, so we made a reasoned and balanced decision to develop new options over the next couple of weeks,” he said. And they will be doing it with Destination Think!, at no extra cost to Destination Greater VIctoria.

“We are very happy with their work as a brand strategy,” he said. “This is no doubt disappointing, but we did clarify our expectations with them and we will move on with them as partners.”

Vintage Heineken ad

The rebranding exercise, undertaken by Destination Think! over a six-month period cost Destination Greater Victoria $150,000.

Nursey said there were other options developed during the original project, so they know they will have plenty of choice.

Paul Hawes, Destination Greater Victoria marketing officer, said one option is to go without a tag line as many destinations find their brand and imagery are strong enough already.

Destination Greater Victoria had hoped the new organization name, which replaced Tourism Victoria, and tag line would better reflect the region and the organization tasked with marketing it.

“Oceans apart from ordinary” was to replace “Full of life” as the organization intended to focus its marketing efforts on selling the region’s beauty, physical infrastructure and charm as well as the connection to the sea.

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