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Brand USA's Ask A Local Initiative Welcomes International Visitors
March 14, 2018

“Dear World, come visit us and discover everything the United States have to offer.  There is so much you haven’t seen and we’d love to show you around.”

Those words of Brand USA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Thompson succinctly sum up Brand USA’s Ask a Local marketing initiative which features videos of American residents offering a warm welcome to international visitors and recommending the best places to visit in their neighborhoods, towns, and cities.

“Many of us are very proud of our hometowns, whether it be a big city, medium-size town, or small neighborhood,” Thompson said.  “We honor our roots and freely talk about where we came from.  It’s this American pride that these videos clearly show.”

The videos of Ask a Local – the new designation for Brand USA’s One Big Welcome program – use a documentary approach to share amazing travel experiences and points of interest through the voices and faces of U.S. residents.  These first-person perspectives highlight local attractions, food, nightlife, music, and scenery. 

 “When we travel, we expect individuals like tour guides and hotel staff to greet us and show us around,” Thompson said.  “Through these videos, we feature locals who want travelers to see everything they love about their hometowns.  It’s this welcoming American spirit – genuine, alive, and full of possibility – that we want to celebrate. These unscripted messages convey the warmth and authenticity of actual people from all parts of our vast and unique country.”

“The Ask a Local series focuses on personal, unique, and entertaining storytelling,” said Tracy Lanza, Brand USA’s vice president of integrated marketing. “The videos truly show the diversity of travel experiences the USA has to offer and the warmth and genuineness of the American people.”

Brand USA launched the project at the U.S. Travel Association’s 2017 IPW in Washington, DC last June.  Brand USA received over 500 assets from a variety of destination marketing organizations and visitors’ bureaus. These videos were created using local, unscripted point of views, fast cuts, sound effects, and B-roll supplemental footage.

Starting in March, these videos will be on Brand USA’s online platforms, TheBrandUSA.com, and VisitTheUSA.com, along with its social-media outlets and GoUSA TV, Brand USA’s new connected TV channel and earned sites such as USA Discovery.

Brand USA hopes to reach travelers with an adventurous spirit and a desire for authentic experiences when traveling internationally.  These travelers love to get recommendations for their next journey and often share their travels with family and friends.

In addition, destination marketing organizations may also use the videos on their own platforms to share these welcome messages about U.S. regions and travel themes.

If you have any questions regarding the video messages, please contact Tracy Lanza at [email protected]