Bermudian Daren Bascome appointed to rethink Bermuda’s tourism brand
A Bermudian has been appointed to raise international awareness of the island as a tourism destination.
And a second marketing expert who has her roots in Bermuda will be responsible for promoting the island in the UK and Europe.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority has hired the Boston-based agency Proverb “to conduct a comprehensive data-informed brand study to guide the next iteration of the Bermuda brand story for the island’s international market”, according to a spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman added: “Proverb’s founder and managing director Daren Bascome is a Bermudian.
“The agency has produced award-winning brand campaigns for destinations, properties and institutions employing a philosophy that prioritises data while incorporating the humanity and purpose of a brand.
“Proverb will develop a new brand study for the island integrating local and international expertise to provide recommendations that will guide the island’s tourism strategies over the next several years.
“The brand strategy will be informed by research and will build an understanding of the Bermuda brand with the overarching goal of helping Bermuda differentiate from competitors and appeal to travellers, maximising visitation year-round.”
Mr Bascome said: “Bermuda is a place of rich history, natural beauty, vibrant culture, and meaningful community.
“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to help shape and expand the story of our island to inspire visitors.”
Proverb was recently appointed by the city of Boston to develop an anti-racism campaign.
It partnered with Colette Phillips Communications and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau for All-Inclusive, a marketing effort celebrating Black, Latino and Asian-American Bostonians.
“The city put out a really clear mandate in terms of what they were looking to do and the first was to safely reopen the city and to drive new revenue into many different parts of it and try to do it in a way that’s equitable,” Mr Bascome told The Royal Gazette in April.
Mr Bascome also led the marketing for the successful $40 million fundraising drive for the new wing of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
In the second appointment, MMGY Hills Balfour will service Bermuda’s UK and European market needs, has been tapped to amplify the new brand messaging for the region. Local advertising agency, AAC will serve as the local support for the brand study led by Proverb.
Charles Jeffers II, the chief executive officer of the BTA, said he was confident the appointments will help Bermuda “reclaim its place as a leading tourism destination”.
He said: “Our team understands the need to revisit the way our brand is presented to the world and has found partners who have demonstrated the requisite experience to execute on our objectives.
“We are focused on authenticity and telling our story in ways that truly reflect who we are and what we have to offer in ways that connect with our visitors across the world.
“Critical to our recovery as a destination is a fresh approach to how we engage not only our potential and returning visitors, but also our local stakeholders, community and Bermudians around the globe.
“And we envision Bermuda’s people and culture will be at the centre of our marketing efforts as we rebuild tourism. Our partners will help guide the brand direction and messaging using data gleaned.”
The BTA spokeswoman said: “As representation specialists with over 20 years’ experience, MMGY Hills Balfour will implement an integrated PR, marketing, MICE, and social media strategy for Bermuda, including creative strategy, media buying and research.
“The London-based agency will adopt a data-driven approach combined with compelling storytelling to strengthen destination awareness and increase intent to visit Bermuda from the UK and Ireland.
“Notably, MMGY Hills Balfour has authentic Bermuda roots. Amanda Hills, the agency’s president, was born and raised on the island.
Ms Hills said: Hills said: “Having grown up in Bermuda and previously worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism, I am personally excited to be working with the BTA again.
“We look forward to curating impactful campaigns that inform, inspire and welcome visitors to discover this incredible island.”
Mr Jeffers said the BTA was “delighted” to be working with the agency.
“The UK is our third-largest market after the US and Canada. In 2019 the island welcomed 21,641 UK visitors by air while UK cruise passengers were up 30 per cent year-on-year.
“The introduction of British Airway’s London Heathrow to Bermuda route earlier this year opens us up for expansion into the European market.
“We are confident that this partnership can help us leverage the opportunities that emerge. MMGY Hills Balfour’s exceptional team brings a wealth of experience to the table, and we look forward to developing a successful partnership with them.”
“With the engagement of Proverb alongside Bermuda-based AAC, MMGY Hills Balfour and Turner Public Relations agency for the United States and Reach for Canada, all of Bermuda’s key feeder markets are supported by full-service agencies.
“As we move forward with these skilled partners, we are confident that Bermuda will reclaim its place as a leading tourism destination.”