Virginia Is for Lovers in 2002
often have taglines that are incorporated or appear with the
logos. Sometimes a tagline is the brands logo, such as
the Commonwealth of
Virginias tourism brand identity, "Virginia Is for
Loers," introduced in
The Virginia Tourism Commission asked its advertising agency,
Work Inc., to conduct market research to determine the current
"Virginia Is for Loers" and its future role.
Work Inc. needed to determine
if the logo had become irrelevant or outdated in the minds of
travel industry partners?
In a lively
visual presentation, Kristi Ashley, managing partner, Work
Inc., showed the steps involved with market research, creative
the outcome: a refreshed logo, but essentially the same. Work
that Virginia Is for Loers still had enormous equity.
used by Work Inc. can be used for any other brand analysis.
Work Inc. needed to know what "Virginia Is for Loers"
communicates to the tourism industry and to consumers. Surveys
it means many things. Some said it means "couples, romance,
Others said it did not mean anything. A small percentage said
it means "fun
A logo should
be salient, make an emotional connection, and have the
power to persuade the consumer, Ashley says. Work Inc. describes
the hip or buzz factor. "Its the idea that something
is going on with the
brand, which will make the consumer stop and say, Hey,
she says. In this case, the logo would cause consumers to re-evaluate
Virginia as a vacation destination.
logo should emotionally connect with the consumer because it
stands for the same values that targeted consumers believe in.
Virginia logo, the heart, which takes the place for the "v"
in word "lovers"
is emotionally charged.
mark should also signify qualities and amenities in the destination
that consumers seek during their vacations?
needed to consider the brands personality by asking these
questions. What is the logo going to say? How will it say it?
What does the
logo project to consumers in different states?
was surprised by what its consumer research revealed, Ashley
say. The agency thought consumers would find the Virginia brand
boring, or dull. Instead, people said Virginia connotes characteristics
classy and interesting, intelligent and cultured, well rounded
They also said Virginia could be more relaxed and less conservative.
a brand for the future, Work Inc. tested positioning
statements against almost 800 people in key geographical regions.
positioning statement that best works for Virginia as a tourist
is: "Whatever you love in a vacation, you can find it here
"So Virginia has new positioning and a new personality,
but the visual
brand mark had been around for thirty-two years, Ashley notes.
"We needed to create that buzz factor again, to show [consumers]
that change was
be several reasons to refresh a brand. Repositioning is one
them. Work Inc. slightly adjusted the logo to keep it interesting.
needed to keep those characteristics that still worked. "Virginias
mark needed modernizing," Ashley says. "A culture
changes and the brand needs to change with it. Because travelers
are different than they were
when this logo was introduced,"
Ashley says. "In fact, travelers are different
today than they were on September 11."
need to manage the brand with consideration to societal and
environmental changes, she says.
A well designed
logo will cover the following traits.
It will be distinctive.
It will be Timeless.
It will be versatile. Can it be reproduced on the web,
on a square inch
ad, on a banner, or with light or dark backgrounds?
It allows flexibility in size. Will it look good large,
such as on a hot
air balloon, or small on a business card.
Its colors can create emotion, impact, and they can distinguish
different aspects of a brand.
It has personality, which is inherent in the logo, because
communicate every aspect of a brands personality in one
Many people assume wrongly that the "I Loe New York"
logo came before
"Virginia Is for Loers." Because The New York
City heart is the same as the
Virginia Is for Loers. Virginia needed a new heart design,
logo had a slender heart and blue color. Work Inc.s
development of a "refreshed" heart went down several
avenues, including an
investigation of emotion and style of hearts with fourth graders.
a heart mean to them? How do they choose color? Should it be
have a shadow, or be solid?" Ashley asks. "It was
an amazing exercise for
the [Work Inc.s] creative department because it got them
to think about how
hearts can come to life," At one point, Work Inc. had thousands
cards posted on its office walls.
looked at hundreds of typefaces in hundreds of different variations,
finally settling on one face that happens to be over 200-years
old and is
very classic," Ashley explains. The serif face can be used
in both Roman and
Italic versions to signify different personalities of Virginia.
day we launched the new logo, we received 14,000 unique hits
[Virginia] website," Ashley recalls. "Usually it receives
3,000 a week. The
press was just overwhelmed the industry was so supportive,
and the board
[of the Virginia Tourism Corporation] couldnt have been
"absolutely sings," according to one staff person.
older logo, Virginia now owns this signature and iconography,
which will facilitate its use in merchandisinga lucrative
stream of revenue,
as well as another way to publicize the state as a tourist destination.