16/07/2008 - 22:00

A work in progress?

16/07/2008 - 22:00

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Western Australia still lacks a unique and cohesive branding strategy, according to some of the state's top advertising agencies.

A work in progress?

Western Australia still lacks a unique and cohesive branding strategy, according to some of the state's top advertising agencies.

Most agencies surveyed by WA Business News ranked their opinions of the branding of WA between 'adequate' and 'poor', saying the destination and message needed greater clarity and definition

Two key advertising campaigns - Tourism WA's 'The Real Thing' and the government's Go West - have been the centrepiece of the state's branding efforts, albeit with differing objectives.

The 'Go West' campaign offers candidates "Better Jobs, Better Lifestyle and Better Future", in an attempt to lure potential workers across from the eastern states to join in the boom times and alleviate WA's skills and labour shortages.

'The Real Thing' campaign features images of beaches, wineries, whale sharks and rocky gorges, and positions WA as "the real Australia" to domestic and international tourists.

The Brand Agency managing director Steve Harris said the state's tourism strategy wasn't uniquely Western Australian.

"You've seen it before; it's a jingle with a big beach shot, insert whale shark with girl in bikini swimming, insert people on back of boat having champagne with the skyline. I think we could do a bit more, emotionally."

"The best work that's being done in tourism is being done by FORM. They're trying to change the product. They're trying to make Perth more exciting."

Block Branding creative director Mark Braddock said the WA tourism brand should be looked at as a niche offering for those wanting to get off the beaten track. "Show Perth as a place that would surprise you," he said.

As for the 'Go West' campaign, Mr Braddock said it would take more than beaches and sunshine to convince someone to make the move west.

"I'm not going to relocate my life because there are good beaches'. It's a far more complex issue than that," he said.

brainCELLS director Howard Cearns believes 'The Real Thing' campaign is a good first step to positioning the state.

"More works needs to be done to define the exact space that WA can compete in, given it's remote," Mr Cearns said.

The City of Perth developed its own brand identity earlier this year, following the election of new lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

Marketforce, who helped develop 'The Real Thing' campaign, also worked with The City of Perth on the "Where everything comes together" destination campaign.

The campaign artistically presented different aspects of the city, including dining, entertainment, culture and fashion, as if being viewed through a kaleidoscope.

The statewide campaign had a budget of $720,000 to the end of June 2008, with a further $720,000 proposed for extending the campaign during 2008-09.

Marketforce's John Driscoll said the agency looked at the changing nature of Perth in what has been a period of significant growth for the city.

"The campaign is symbolic, it does represent what is going on the city," Mr Driscoll said.

"The city is critical to how WA functions, and its an important part of tourism."

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