The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), the official destination marketing organisation for the island, has announced a move to review and reposition Bermuda’s brand. It has appointed new partner agencies to help drive the post-pandemic recovery and has renewed relationships with two existing partners. Boston-based Proverb, an agency focused on “building powerful brands and creating a more thoughtful world”, was selected to conduct a comprehensive data-informed brand study to guide the next iteration of the Bermuda brand story for the island’s international market. MMGY Hills Balfour, which 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.
The selection process included local and international requests for proposals. The brand study local selection committee was comprised of industry stakeholders, marketing, and brand experts. BTA Chief Executive, Charles H. Jeffers II 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.” Jeffers continued, “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.”
To reorient the brand, BTA has brought onboard Proverb, a creative agency with deep connections to the destination — 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.
“Bermuda is a place of rich history, natural beauty, vibrant culture, and meaningful community,” said Bascome. “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to help shape and expand the story of our island to inspire visitors.”
MMGY Hills Balfour has been appointed as its in-market representative office for the UK & Europe, following a competitive pitch process. 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 & Ireland. Notably, MMGY Hills Balfour has authentic Bermuda roots; Amanda Hills, the agency’s president, was born and raised on the island.
“MMGY Hills Balfour has a longstanding relationship with Bermuda since we first represented the destination in 2003,” 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.”
“We are delighted to be working with MMGY Hills Balfour to promote Bermuda in the UK,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO, Charles Jeffers II. “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 percent YOY. The introduction of British Airway’s London Heathrow to Bermuda route earlier this year opens us up for expansion into the European market. And 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,” Jeffers said. “As we move forward with these skilled partners, we are confident that Bermuda will reclaim its place as a leading tourism destination.”