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Issue Date: August 2004 Issue


No Plums Allowed: Our Cleveland Experience

Cleveland Magazine editors throw the "No Plums Allowed" entries at the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau chief.

Damn, we're good -- or so we thought.

After receiving the five advertising campaigns for our city, we were so giddy with excitement that we couldn’t resist. We had to show someone. We had to share the creative juices in a big, ceremonial “Cleveland’s a plum” cocktail. We needed a toast for our coming-out-party and thought who better than Dennis Roche, president of the Greater Cleveland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, to give it. Then again, maybe next time we’ll keep our giddiness to ourselves for a while.

“I don’t think I see the answer yet,” says Roche. “If I had to choose any of these, I think the dog one, [Liggett-Stashower’s Moses the Downtown Dog], is probably the closest, because it has the most clearly defined audience. And the bright vivid look would probably grab people’s attention.”

Overall too much emphasis placed on looking back, instead of looking forward. “I’m not trying to say we need to separate from our past, but there’s a danger in trying to do a 'That was then, this is now' kind of campaign. From our perspective, the CVB is about fresh images,” he says. “The Rock Hall. Big events in town. Things like that. Our message is that when visitors come here, we’ll exceed their expectations.”

The CVB has several projects in the works right now when it comes to getting the message out about Cleveland. “We’re in the middle of brainstorming whole new ways to market the city,” he says. “We want to talk about very specific, tangible assets we have and why you should come here.

“Few visitors come to Cleveland to see one thing,” Roche says. “We need to link everything we have together to create an experience: The Cleveland Experience.”


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