RSCVA CEO draws on experiences for marketing slogan
Chris Baum, president and chief executive officer of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, says he came upon the idea for the newest marketing slogan for Greater Reno-Tahoe before he was even hired to head the RSCVA.
Baum says the “What’s Your Passion?” campaign unveiled last week draws upon his 35 years of experience in travel and tourism and familiarity with resort markets throughout the U.S. He sketched out the basics of the campaign last fall.
“Marketing in general, and advertising in particular, is more of an art form than a science,” he says. “With my experience in travel and tourism, I was very clear what opportunities were here. A lot of advertising is based on research, but a lot of it is based on someone’s intuition and experience. There are a lot of nuances that come into play that you won’t see in trends or numbers or a bar graph.”
Much of the $1.6 million “What’s Your Passion?” marketing campaign is aimed to drive Northern Californians over the Sierra pass through a combination of billboards, radio ads and printed literature. Baum says the slogan is a call to action to get people to think about those things for which they care most.
“Almost anything can be accommodated here in Reno-Tahoe, from passive pursuits such as lounging in a hotel room to whitewater rafting, mountain biking, fly fishing or golf,” Baum says. “We have a more diverse destination as a four-season resort than most of the competition at a lower price. There’s a market out there, we just have to tell that story more effectively.”
Baum says that unlike some marketing campaigns put forth in recent years (A Little Left of Center), reception to the region’s new slogan has been pretty positive. But only time will tell if it resonates with tourists, he says.
“Sometimes in marketing we ask too many opinions and spend too much time coming up with a solution. But marketing is not a team sport. The proof will be whether the cash registers ring, but the support has been very strong; people seem to think we are on the right track.”
The introductory 80-hour program — announced in May as one solution to Nevada’s oft-lamented skilled labor shortages — is designed to train people in construction, building maintenance and related trades.