These are the iconic doors of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, and they serve as the entry point into Discover Puerto Rico’s newest marketing campaign, “Have We Met Yet?” Launched Wednesday across digital channels, the campaign paints the island as a vibrant and fundamentally welcoming place for travelers.
Discover Puerto Rico kicked off as the island’s destination marketing organization in July, about nine months after Hurricane Maria devastated the region. The team spent much of last year emphasizing the progress of recovery, as the island rebuilt itself. But after hitting the one-year anniversary of the storm in September, the organization began to shift towards more optimistic messaging.
“It is unlike any other island in the Caribbean,” Chandler said. “It has amazing culinary experiences, hospitable people, natural wonders. We’ve got all of this rich culture inherited, and that’s where we’re planting our roots.” She pointed to Puerto Rico’s rainforest as well as the 500-year-old historic district within the capital city.
In addition to that, the organization hopes to remind Americans that the island is a U.S. territory, and therefore uniquely accessible to them. They do not need a passport, they can use U.S. currency, and most can get around without knowing any Spanish.
This emphasis on what makes the island unique comes from research the organization conducted into consumer perception of the island. For the most part, the research team found that most residents of the U.S. mainland have a neutral view of Puerto Rico, not understanding why they should vacation there over other warm and sunny spots.
“Basically, no brand equity had been built for Puerto Rico,” she said. “Every time they would get a new administration, there’d be a lot of change in the tourism department. There would be new executive directors, new leadership in tourism. So often the brand identity would change, logos would change, and the messaging would change. ”
In creating the site, the team added photos, videos and information about all of the 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico, in an effort to draw people away from San Juan, and into lesser-known areas.
The organization also added thousands of business listings, from hotels to restaurants, to attractions, such as museums, festivals, and casinos. Business partners can add photos, videos, as well as related articles, with the aim of getting consumers to book directly on the company’s website.
Discover Puerto Rico plans to continue “Have We Met Yet?” throughout the rest of the year, and will be adding streaming options for branded content in what it identifies as key markets, or those with direct flights to the island.