New Houston Image Campaign Focuses On Quality Of Life

Jun. 3, 2014Houston Public Media

We’ve heard it many times: Houston has an image problem. Research has shown that those who have lived here for a while generally love their city, but people elsewhere have a different perception of Houston.

That’s why the Greater Houston Partnership has recruited two marketing firms to do extensive research and come up with a new brand for Houston and develop image commercials.

The result was announced at NRG Stadium on Tuesday.

Houston Texans President and GHP board member Jamey Rootes led the task force for the campaign, which is called “Houston: The City With No Limits.”

He said Houston is generally known as a great place to work and “we’ve done a tremendous job building that perception nationally and internationally, a great place to do business. But an equally great place to live, to grow a career, to have a family.”

The campaign features TV ads and a new website with area facts, profiles of some Houstonians and a video depicting some of the city’s activities, culture and sites.

It’s not the first campaign about Houston that has been done. Just last year, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau launched the “My Houston” initiative that has celebrities talk about Houston and the “Houston Is” campaign that highlights the city’s arts and culinary scene.

But Jamey Rootes said what makes this campaign different is the extensive research that was done on the perception of both Houstonians and outsiders.

Cindy Marion is the president of MMI Agency, one of the marketing firms working for the campaign. She said Houstonians want the story to get told.

“I think Houston’s just a more cosmopolitan, more dynamic, more sophisticated, more entertainment oriented, more well-rounded, more diverse,” Marion said. “All of those things contribute to a Houston that’s ready to get recognition for what we deserve to get recognition for, which is: This is a fun place to be, it’s a fun place to live, it’s a great place to live.”

Paul Hobby, chairman of the GHP, said Houston creates 200 jobs every day, which is both a challenge and an opportunity.

“A lot of those are for knowledge workers,” he said. “We under-produce when it comes to higher education or we’re working on that. But the point is, you know, we have to import college graduates and skilled workforce to Houston. That is the critical success factor. That is the long pole in the tent, or the long pole in the stadium if you prefer. And so, that outside perception of Houston, it lags, it lags the impressive reality.”

The “City With No Limits” campaign evolved from the GHP’s Opportunity Houston program. It will expand to specific target cities next year.