This week Prensa.com reported that the Panamanian government has budgeted $40.5 million dollars for advertising in 2011. $18.4 million of that is for promoting the country abroad – how amazing would it be to walk through down town Chicago and see a billboard for Panama? Panama as the rising Central American superstar that it is, I can only imagine the possibilities. We posted earlier this year about Panama’s new campaign: Panama Surprises, and how it was a vast improvement over the “It will never leave you” campaign.
As a member of the Isla Palenque marketing team, I can’t help but get excited about the potential for international advertising that promotes Panama. I think it would be awesome if they focused on unique tree house resorts, small boutique hotels in villages off the beaten path or the local culture of the Ngobe Bugle Indians. I like the focus on Panama’s unique flavor rather than what it offers as a beach destination in paradise – Panama is a thousand times cooler than your typical beach destination. I talk to people everyday that are interested in Panama as a second home or vacation destination, and I truly believe that this kind of unique personal experience is what sophisticated travelers seek these days. Places of spectacular natural beauty and culture, where the concierge remembers your name and you get to meet the locals, not just other tourists waiting in line.
Better yet, why not use this large ad budget to remind people to preserve Panama’s unique flavor as well? With all of the concern today about climate change and other environmental issues, people want to make sustainable travel choices. The problem? Knowing where to find them. This is the perfect time for Panama to position itself as a country full of people like those of us here at Amble Resorts: people that not only want to enjoy and share Panama’s beauty, but preserve it for generations of people to enjoy as well.
Here are some impactful green ads from webecoist.com that got me thinking about Panama’s upcoming advertising efforts. Some of these really make you think!