From a recent PhoCusWright study commissioned by the CNTO, it appears that Americans know very little about the multitude of new experiences they can enjoy in China. With the goal of changing this perspective, CNTO hired Spring O’Brien to rebrand China in the U.S., marrying both its traditional and contemporary images. This included highlighting how the country’s ultramodern infrastructure makes it easier to explore China and showcasing ‘off –the-beaten path’ experiences to help Americans move beyond cookie-cutter group tours.
The agency created a new logo to represent both the old and the new in China. The image of the Temple of Heaven in the “A” acknowledges classic and cultural China, while China’s tallest building reflected in the “I” communicates its modernity and dynamism. A tagline “China: Like Never Before” instills a new reason to visit the country now and the combination of old and new is presented by a theme of “Ancient Treasures. Modern Wonders.” The agency developed a video featuring well-known travel experts providing personal insights about China to present the new branding and educate travel agents on how they should sell China. A print and digital trade campaign was created to build awareness of the new positioning and focuses on four different niches: Educational and Senior Travel and two newer niches Luxury and Soft Adventure.
The reaction from the trade has been very favorable and the new branding is now being used on all of CNTO’s promotional vehicles. The trade advertising campaign was the first CNTO has done for many years and this fresh new approach will now be promoted to the consumer. Since a benchmark has been established by the first research survey, a second one will be conducted in the next year to measure the impact of the new branding.