DOVER, DE: In the latest attempt to resolve its perpetual identity
crisis, the state of Delaware has hired local PR shop Reese, Tomases &
Ellick (RT&E) to run a branding campaign aimed at attracting tourism and
"All the research done by the state and by us confirms a central fact:
No one has a clue about Delaware," laughed RT&E president Charles
"Chick" Housam. "As opposed to having a bad image, Delaware simply has
no image at all." The tiny state reported a population of 784,000 in
The Delaware Economic Development Office is seeking to remedy that with
this $600,000-a-year campaign, scheduled to run for up to five
RT&E will center its efforts on the slogan, "It's good being first,"
referring to the fact that Delaware was the first state to adopt the US
Target audiences for the campaign, according to Housam, "run the gamut
from corporate relocation experts to tourism targets," which he
described as households with an average yearly income of $75,000
and above, living within two to three hours' driving distance of the
state. (See Market Focus, p. 17.)
RT&E signed the contract in September following a competition involving
a handful of local agencies.
The integrated campaign - on which initial work has already begun - will
formally launch in March of 2002.
This is not the first time the state has attempted to brand itself.
Delaware adopted the tagline "small wonder" 20 years ago, but "they
never did anything with it. It just languished there for 20 years," said
Housam. "If we're going to get our fair share of the development
opportunities and our fair share of tourism dollars, we have to do
something with it."
RT&E, which has appointed a team of seven to the account, is a
43-year-old integrated advertising and PR shop in Delaware boasting a
staff of 55 and 2000 billings in excess of $50 million. Major
clients include DuPont, GE Capital, and the Delaware State Lottery.