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'QC, That's Where!': Quad Cities Chamber and Visit Quad Cities announce new regional branding and ad campaign (copy)
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‘QC, That’s Where!’

'QC, That's Where!': Quad Cities Chamber and Visit Quad Cities announce new regional branding and ad campaign (copy)

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On a drizzly morning on Oct. 28 in the Figge Art Museum lobby, Quad-Cities community members wrote notes to stick on a large board. They ranged from celebrating local performing arts to commenting on economic and industrial innovation, to expressing happiness at meeting loved ones and raising families.

Each message started with the words, "QC, That's Where!" 

This phrase is the center of a new regional brand and multi-platform advertising campaign launched by the Quad Cities Chamber and Visit Quad Cities. 

Visit Quad Cities and the Quad Cities Chamber announced the new branding style and ad campaign at a news conference, along with Resonance Consultancy, a global adviser on tourism and economic development, which the organizations worked with to develop the brand.

"This is a watershed opportunity for us to think about, not only what we've got, but what we can further become as a destination, as a region, as a place that we all love," Visit Quad Cities President and CEO Dave Herrell said.

Quad Cities Chamber and Visit Quad Cities staff worked with a Quad Cities Brand Leadership Committee made up of volunteers from different businesses and organizations throughout the region to develop the campaign.

With "QC, That's Where!" the organizations are hoping to turn the question of where the Quad-Cities are into an opportunity to tell people a different story, rather than just an explanation of where the region is on a map. This will be helpful in area organizations' efforts to attract and retain talent, residents, investors and businesses. 

It's also giving all the different cities, municipalities, businesses, organizations and individuals a cohesive story to tell, rather than offering differing explanations.

"This is all about bragability, community pride and all of us working together to promote the QC with one voice," Visit Quad Cities Executive Committee Chairman Kai Swanson said. 

The campaign's website, qcthatswhere.com, has launched, providing resources for prospective visitors, residents and investors, as well as a toolkit of logos and brand guidelines for Quad-Cities businesses, cities and municipalities, all available for free. There is also a spot where residents and companies can share their own examples of the titular phrase. 

Paul Rumler, president and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber, said they'd also started campaigns aimed at business attraction and retention.

Using QC instead of Quad-Cities on logos and other materials ties into the idea of doing away with questions of where the Quad-Cities are and what cities are included in it. The region is much more than just the Quad-Cities, and Rumler said they don't want to leave those cities and towns out like an explanation of which cities make up the Quad-Cities might.

"This is part of that evolution, revolution of our brand growing up," Rumler said, "and really taking, for this next decade and beyond, a bigger, bolder, broader vision of who we can be." 

In the near future, Herrell said Visit Quad Cities hopes to see a consensus come behind the branding and have businesses use it in their marketing and individuals share it where they can. In addition to the website, the organizations will put together television, print and digital advertising for the campaign. 

The Chamber and Visit Quad Cities proposed three different branding styles before deciding on "QC, That's Where!," all with the goal of attracting new visitors, residents and investors. Each of the 18 cities and towns in the Quad-Cities bi-state region has its own specific logo. 

Quad-Cities residents had the opportunity to vote on their preferred theme over the summer. "QC, That's Where!" outpaced the other proposed themes in the survey, Herrell said, though people gravitated toward different aspects of each choice. 

"Home. Grown" focused on the homegrown aspects of the area while showing how it's grown. "QC. And Proud of It." shared the strengths of the area. 

Herrell said "QC, That's Where!" worked with every kind of statement, from statistics to historical moments to personal anecdotes. Anyone can use it to puff out their chest and express their pride in different parts of the Quad-Cities region.

"We felt like this was the moment to put that stake in the ground to say, 'We like this,' because it's more about how the people here feel about the place that they live in, versus us trying to just drive home that message," Herrell said. "This is this has got a much broader implication and impact to engage the region." 

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