Come back to Jamaica
JTB kicks off winter tourist season with a bang
Jamaica’s official start to the 2022-23 winter tourist season got off with a bang, in the form of the launch of the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) new advertising campaign, ‘Jamaica Come Back’, inside the AC Hotel Kingston by Marriott on Wednesday, December 14, a day before the official season began.
The concept by Accenture Song, the agency that crafted and executed the campaign, was inspired by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hotel and travel industries. “There are countless things we’ve all lost over the past few years as a result of not travelling. The ability to connect with people in meaningful ways, to be spontaneously romantic, or inspired by new cultures, to be the things we like most about ourselves. Our sense of self may be out of practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone,” Accenture Song said.
In his address, Donovan White, director of tourism, said, among other things, “We know that destination Jamaica is second to none. However, the impact of the pandemic resulted in us losing something after being locked down for so long. It is now time to get back what we lost. And what better way to do so than in Jamaica …? We are inviting the world to come back to feeling their best selves again in Jamaica.”
Under the tag line ‘Come back to the vibe that comes alive in Jamaica’, the JTB is inviting people to come back to “adventure”, “loving”, “relaxed”, “chill”, “curious” and “excited”, “not just to all the wonderful places you can go in Jamaica, but to the long-lost places our guests can discover within themselves”. “The fact is, Jamaica is, and has always been, the destination that has helped its visitors live up to their most valuable human potential,” Accenture Song also said.
Accenture Song was represented by Managing Director Wendy Glass, who explained the concept and what inspired it, and Executive Creative Director Keith Ross, who walked the audience through different elements of the campaign, after which there was a screening of the clips, from which feel-good Jamaican music complemented the mood in the room.
The agency collaborated with Jon Baker of Portland’s Geejam Studios to create an original soundtrack to support the visuals. Accenture said, “Music producers Troy Baker and Dale Virgo put a modern twist on classic music influences, including ska, dub, reggae and dancehall to capture the essence of Jamaica.” Another original element is the hand-painted display font called ‘Curious’, designed to “uniquely complement our photography with the personality and charm of Jamaica”.
Three main categories of visitors are targetted: the experience seekers who are “exploring Jamaica, discovering romance and adventure, while making a connection to Jamaican culture”; the young family, “who is experiencing their long-anticipated family vacation”; and the seasoned travellers, “an older target whose experiences have unlocked their appetite for adventure, their curiosity about the local culture, and their lasting love for each other”.
The campaign was filmed in 31 scenes, using over 35 local crew members in 12 locations from St Ann to Portland in five days. Ten principal actors and 23 local extras were the talents. “Our goal was to capture the island’s natural attractions and its lovely people working in concert to help visitors live their best lives. Working with Jamaica’s incredible production talent was imperative to bring that vision to life,” Accenture Song explained.
The people factor was crucial to the message of the campaign, which Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett spoke of to the gathering of tourism stakeholders, partners and associates. The people are a major part of the uniqueness of our tourism products and, “it is that uniqueness of the experience that we are calling our customer value proposition. And Jamaica intends to create a customer value proposition that is superior … that is inimitable, that no one else can replicate”.
“And that is why we are not looking to be competitive in the traditional sense, but to be comparative, and being comparative means that we can get a value response that nobody else, and we are seeing a bit of it in terms of the recovery and how our product has been seen in the marketplace … in relation to other products that are around,” the tourism minister said. He also said revenue up to December is “going to pretty much equate” the revenue of 2019, year to date, “but, in terms of the fiscal year, we are going to be $500 million more than we were in 2019.”
Value proposition, then, Bartlett intimated, are more than sea, sun and sand, which is all over the Caribbean. It has to come from “somewhere deeper and more intrinsic”, from deep within us, “a special piece of us”, the people of Jamaica. “So, what it is saying is that the value proposition that Jamaica is offering to the market is sufficient, attractive and alluring that they are prepared to pay more,” Bartlett said.