OKALOOSA ISLAND – Many non-locals know where Destin is, but many of them have never even heard of Okaloosa Island or the Emerald Coast.
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That view is central to the new logo for the branding/marketing purposes of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Department. It officially announced the update on Tuesday, several months after the new logo was approved by the county Tourist Development Council and the County Commission.
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The new logo features the word “Destin” on top of “Fort Walton Beach” and “Florida,” all in a single column.
The old one featured “Emerald Coast,” along with “Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island,” and was used for the past decade.
The previous logo, which was included in print and online advertisements, videos and other marketing materials, was confusing, county Tourist Development Department Director Jennifer Adams told the commission last fall.
Based on extensive research done in 2019, the TDD eliminated “Emerald Coast” and “Okaloosa Island” from the logo and focused on the attributes that identify its target markets, “so you see a very clean and simple logo that identifies us as Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, which is pretty significant as well because people don’t know that we’re in Florida, based on research,” Adams said.
The new logo also aligns with Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, she said.
Commissioner Graham Fountain told her the TDD has “mastered the art of simplicity” and that, while the new logo “is very plain,” he supports it.
Adams replied that simplicity is vital in bringing more visitors to the area.
Besides the new logo, the TDD on Tuesday officially announced its new website, destinfwb.com, which focuses on kids and “the young at heart” while touting the area’s water-based activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing and snorkeling.
“Our re-branding goes far beyond unveiling a new logo and website,” Adams said in a statement on Tuesday. “It’s inspired and informed by the people who visit, live and work here.
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“In fact, we’ve engaged hundreds of stakeholders to date, creating authentic adventures based on their expertise. This is our collective way of extending an invitation to families to join us in experiencing activities that foster self-confidence, self-reliance, and nurture the imaginations of children and parents alike.”
The TDD on Tuesday also announced that, in support of its re-branding effort, an extensive nationwide campaign is now underway. It includes sponsorship of the inaugural issue of “G&G Junior,” ads in “Parents” and “Southern Living,” an upcoming digital activation with USA Today and broadcast spots with “PBS Kids.”
On Wednesday, Adams said brand development was one outcome of a $128,250 multi-tactic visitor and local stakeholder research program created for the TDD by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based BooneOakley agency.