Spreading Caymankindness

Read our article in The Chamber Magazine, eversion 

The Department of Tourism’s new branding campaign is igniting excitement for the destination internationally and infusing Caymanians here at home with a sense of pride and ownership.

In January 2011, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism launched its new branding campaign, Caymankind in its major market, the USA. The new campaign was conceptualised as one component of a larger brand marketing initiative to introduce national audiences to the unique spirit of the Cayman Islands.

The campaign’s execution in print, radio, television and online was therefore creatively designed to embody the essence of the Cayman experience and its brand values, defined as Welcoming; Integrity; Visionary; Respect and Excellence.

The Caymankind campaign depicts the Cayman Islands as ‘more than a destination: it is a people, a place and an approach to life that are as unique as they are universal.’

Emphasising Caymankind as way of life,’ the campaign ads capture the beauty, culture, and vibrancy of the Cayman Islands and are designed to evoke a desire to belong to Caymankind. The ads reveal reflect smiling, friendly faces that visitors will meet, the once-in-a-lifetime experiences they will share and the islands’ breathtaking natural beauty.

Hitting all the right notes with potential travelers in its message pretest stage, Caymankind also resonated with the travel market once it was launched. It did not take long from its rollout for Caymankind to receive a major thumbs up from hospitality marketing experts; indeed the campaign won a Silver Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales Marketing Association The Adrian Awards recognise outstanding achievements in advertising, public relations and digital marketing, specifically within the travel industry.

Taking Caymankind home, or perhaps returning it to its roots, the Department of Tourism launched the campaign locally in September. It began in Cayman Brac on 23 September with the first of a series of Tourism Awareness town hall meetings, and a schedule that included similar meetings and rollout in all districts.

The local campaign is intended to support the Caymankind brand campaign and to raise tourism awareness. It is aimed at not only exposing local residents to the Caymankind campaign, but also to engage and encourage the community to undertake random acts of Caymankindness to visitors and each other and to inspire everyone to get involved with visitors and view tourism as their business.

Hon. McKeeva Bush, Premier and Minister for Finance, Tourism and Development articulated it this way.

“Caymankind, which refers, not just to the three islands of Cayman, but to the entire Cayman experience, encompasses everything that makes the Cayman Islands unique–from the friendliness of our people and our rich cultural heritage to our cosmopolitan style, stunning natural beauty and warm welcome, which we extend to those who visit our shores.”

An essential element of the campaign is the Caymankind song, a collaborative effort involving 27 local musicians and vocalists. Produced at Hopscotch studios, the song features the contributions of Adrian Rowe; Angeline Manderson; Barrie Quappe; Cayman Music & Entertainment Association; Charles Gregory; Charles “Lammie” Seymour; George Town Primary Year 5 students; Hubert Campbell; Jamesette Anglin; JÈan-eric Smith “Mr. Notch”; Junior Jennings; K.K. Alese’ Mitchell O. Ebanks, “Jah Mitch”; Samuel Rose and Wayneroy Randall.

Caymankind’s local rollout has included district meetings in West Bay at the Cayman Turtle Farm and at Pedro St. James. Tourism partners were also given a comprehensive overview of the campaign and the performance of the sector at an industry luncheon held in November at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.

In December, DOT also launched the Caymankind song at Tiki Beach, in a live performance featuring the musical talent on the song. The Caymankind song is available for download as a ringtone on the department’s website (www.caymanislands.ky) and can be heard on local radio stations as part of their play list.

Judging by the responses to both the song and the overall campaign, Caymankind, with its inclusiveness, vibrancy and portrayal of the very best of the Cayman’s physical assets and emotional connection with visitors, is proving equally compelling to local audiences as it has done for DOT’s target market in the USA.

“Caymankind speaks to the traditional values of our warm and welcoming hospitality that have been so much a part of our tourism product over the years. We hope that by bringing the campaign home and familiarising local residents with its concepts, everyone will feel invested in our tourism and will make every effort to be “Caymankind” to visitors and to all who live here,” noted Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott.

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