County chooses tourism marketer

The Island County Tourism Marketing Advisory Committee has chosen Big Bang Idea Engineering to create an innovative and comprehensive tourism marketing campaign for Island County.

The committee received 28 proposals from large and small marketing firms throughout the United States. It made its decision July 9 in favor of Big Bang Idea Engineering of Seattle and San Diego.

The committee's choice must now be approved by the county and island cities. Strategic planning for the campaign would begin immediately after approval.

The launch for the first of the campaign phases is set for fall, under the supervision of the tourism committee.

Big Bang Idea Engineering is a West Coast branding agency whose client list includes culture-driven companies and products such as Seattle's Pike Place Market. The firm is considered notable internationally for its inventive strategic and creative approach.

Big Bang will be partnering with CMS Communications to handle public relations-specific activities.

The marketing campaign Big Bang will develop will include a countywide tourism Web site, publicity campaign, and other marketing. The main thrust is to help increase the public's interest in visiting Whidbey and Camano Islands, particularly in the off-season months from October through May.

Two years ago Island County lodgings, chambers, cities and county governments instituted a 2 percent tax on lodging in the county to fund a countywide tourism promotion campaign. After one year of collecting the tax a joint advisory committee was formed with representatives from the incorporated cities, the county government, tourism organizations, and lodging industry representatives.

The committee issued a request for qualifications from interested firms to establish and direct the marketing campaign.

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