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Mexico Hopes You Forget About All That Awkward Drugs and Violence Stuff

August 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM | by | ()

Here's a truncated roundup of the last 18 months of our Mexico Travel posts: Mexicana's financial instability is ruining tourism to Mexico, the FAA's safety rating downgrade is ruining tourism to Mexico, the State Department's travel alert is ruining tourism to Mexico, Hurricane Rick is ruining tourism to Mexico, Hurricane Ida is ruining tourism to Mexico, and swine flu is ruining tourism to Mexico.

You begin to see why Mexico's tourism board has launched a campaign to try to rebrand the country. The pitch-perfect slogan? "Mexico: The place you thought you knew."

The social media push stretches across Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube, with the Twitter and Flickr efforts being the most impressive. Some of the Flickr galleries are actually worth browsing just for the photography, independent of any tourism stuff. The Facebook and YouTube parts of the campaign are on the other side of the spectrum, with this YouTube video clocking in at less than 5 views as of this morning.

As near as we can tell the goal is persuasion by misdirection, since the ads don't really address the litany of safety concerns that tourists have. That might not be the worst idea from an advertising perspective, since "trying to explain yourself" in a YouTube video is usually a recipe for disaster. Get people to focus on museums, golfing, and family sailing, and hope the other stuff kind of gets left behind.

The thing is, we're not sure if that's going to work. For many people the association between Mexico and - for instance - drug violence is now nearly automatic. If the thought is always going to linger in the background, Mexico's tourism people might as well address it explicitly.

Of course there's always one last alternative to trying to overcome the country's seedy reputation. Own it.

[Photo: WeVisitMexico / Flickr]

Related Stories:
· Mexico Tourism Board Launches Advertising Campaign in North America [Business Wire]
· Social Media [Jaunted]
· Travel Advertising [Jaunted]

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