This summer’s biggest branding and marketing initiatives aren’t coming from products and corporations, but cities, states—and even countries. Below we’re highlighting two location-based campaigns we admire for sleek design, and two location-based social media campaigns whose perpetrators clearly hadn’t taken user experience (designed or otherwise) into account before their launch.

Bruce Mau Design (BMD) + Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen rebrand Canada for the 21st century
The idea behind this national redesign: you may think you know Canada, but you don’t. Forget hockey and maple syrup. Think Ryan Gosling, Arcade Fire and Banff National Park. Or pretty much anything else you could fit in between those red columns. It’s simple. We like it.



&Smith + We All Need Words take on Shrewsbury: The Original One-Off
A simple logo that can be customized for each business in Shrewsbury (which is, the town itself points out, not known for anything) makes this attempt at transformation interesting, if not already successful. With a focus on authenticity, this is one well designed rebrand we’re hoping catches fire with local shopkeepers and, ultimately, tourists. Time will tell.

Sweden and Vermont take social marketing to the people (unfortunately)
It may be getting worldwide attention, but the @Sweden national Twitter account—which brings on a new Swede each week to manhandle the country’s reputation via social media—is pretty much understood to be a lousy experiment in “authentic” marketing. Which is why everyone in the office did a collective forehead slap when Vermont’s Department of Tourism and Marketing announced it was going to do the same thing with the @THISISVT account starting July 23. The groundbreaking goal behind the madness is to help outsiders “get to know the people and character of our state,” which would be admirable if their first citizen-Tweeter’s snoozefest of a motto wasn’t “Life is short and so am I.”

Really now. How soon can we purchase tickets?

Photo sources | Canada | Shrewsbury

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