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Monday, February 10, 2014

Welcome to The Nearby Republic of Coconut Grove

At the BID board meeting this morning, "The Nearby Republic of Coconut Grove" was voted in as the new ad campaign for the BID and the businesses it serves. It was almost unanimous, one board member voted against it. One resident voted against it, but she was not on the board and her condo building is not part of the BID so her vote didn't count. As someone yelled out, "You're not part of the BID or the Republic!" which got a good laugh.

There are three types of people regarding this campaign, those who like it, those who really don't care either way and those who feel that it's more than a marketing campaign and more of a renaming of Coconut Grove, which it is not. Last week the local media got it all wrong; one erroneous email by a disgruntled neighbor turned into a major news story about the Grove being renamed. Many of the media outlets will publish the correct story in the coming weeks.

Markham Cronin, president of Markham Unlimited, the ad company that came up with the $85,000 campaign, showed a copy of the book, "To Kill a Mockingbird." He ripped the cover off and asked, if you didn't know what the book was about and only saw the cover, what would you think? You would maybe think it's about killing birds. In other words, stop judging a book by its cover. See what the whole branding campaign is about.

Some people were wearing mock t-shirts that had the logo saying "The State of Coconut Grove," you can buy those at The Sale Rack store on Main Highway; Noel Garcia, owner of the Grove Ink and other Grove businesses designed them.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff felt that, "the Grove is evolving from a tourist community into a community for locals." I agree with the Commissioner, maybe it's time to cater to locals, in turn, the local feel and vibe will translate to tourists who want the real thing and not a made up marketing campaign.

But for now, the Center Grove, the business district, is being branded as "The Nearby Republic of Coconut Grove."  There will be all sorts of promotions from tv commercials to magazine ads and signs and window dressing around the village. A new website will be introduced, too.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faraway Republic

February 10, 2014 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That window dressing will look great on all those "boarded up" windows on the empty storefronts covering the grove from end to end.

Couldn't this money, and the other similarly wasted billboard type money be better used to set off some of the ridiculous charges that keep new businesses from opening up in the grove?

February 10, 2014 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come visit the nearby republic of Coconut Grove! We have plenty of empty storefronts for your enjoyment!

That Johnny Rockets corner sure looks lonely. Their food might have been mediocre, but they always had people sitting outside.

How will this campaign attract new businesses and retain existing ones?

February 10, 2014 1:50 PM  
Blogger F. said...

Simply ridiculous. No matter how you put it. You spend 85K on a marketing campaign and this is what you get? How sad.

Moreover, Mr. Cronin's analogy would work great at high school. Maybe his campaign too. The problem's for businesses in the Grove go way beyond a cheesy campaign.

Or wait! Maybe the campaign is not bad after all...if you look at the image it truly depicts what the grove business are going through...they are adrift and barely staying afloat!

February 10, 2014 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had trolleys you would be catering to the locals that don't want to pay to park or drive around looking for a spot to park. simple. WE NEED TROLLEYS!!!!

February 10, 2014 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Dexter said...

There are plenty of Trolley's in the West Grove. Shopping Trolley's, that is. Place is littered with them.

February 11, 2014 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Trolleys would a better use of funds then an ad campaign. You can advertise all you want, unfortunately right now we have very little to offer. All the retail is turning into offices and very little of what made the grove feel like a bohemian "republic" remains. There really isn't much to see the grove these days.

February 11, 2014 3:56 PM  

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