Shopping Center Branding | Santa Monica Place Reopens

Two years and $265 million later, Santa Monica Place reopened Friday morning, with several thousand shoppers pouring in to get a first look at the newly remodeled shopping center.

“Finally, finally they’ve done something to improve,” said Cyndi Walters, 30, a nurse from Santa Monica. “It was just so run down and boring. This is a big, huge difference.”

Los Angeles Times

Tourism Branding | So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?

One of my favorite Web sites, Best Rejected Advertising, includes a summary of last year’s controversy over a Tourism Australia campaign, which featured the provocative slogan “So where the bloody hell are you?”

The spots were subjected to restrictions in both Great Britain (over the word “bloody”) and Canada (over the word “hell”) and were vigorously defended by Australian Tourism Minister, Fran Bailey:

“The regulator is out of touch with British opinion – based on our research and the initial feedback the British are loving our cheeky sense of humour.”

Speaking as a proud former resident of Sydney, I imagine this was a “good problem to have”, as it reinforced Australia’s position as the most fun-loving, free-wheeling member of the Commonwealth. In other words, a great place to vacation.

A recent story in Melbourne’s The Age suggested that the campaign, contrary to conventional wisdom, has been a qualified success, and a lightly-tweaked Web site was relaunched today.