The city of Boston wants to boost tourism and the local economy’s recovery from COVID-19 by making its popular image more all-inclusive, all with help from a new marketing campaign cooked up by local advertising and brand agency Proverb.
The campaign, called “Boston All Inclusive,” wants to fight racism and discrimination by featuring small business owners and residents who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Proverb hopes the campaign will provide an alternative narrative to the stereotypes of Boston by creating an alternative story that is more inclusive and amplifies previously lesser-heard groups of people.
“The narrative built around the city over decades isn’t going to go away, but this campaign begins to create an additional narrative or narratives for people to tell more stories,” says Daren Bascome, founder and managing director of Proverb, a Black-led advertising and brand agency. The stories featured in the campaign aim to drive visitors to traditionally overlooked businesses and neighborhoods, particularly those that were hit hardest by the pandemic.
Bascome acknowledges having a campaign take on both racism and the pandemic-fueled downturn is a tall order. The campaign’s first goal will be to kickstart local tourism. “Our first audience is for people who are here, contemplating a staycation, or as simple as who you want to order takeout from,” says Bascome. The campaign also hopes to attract people within driving distance of Boston, including from the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area.