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What is I Amsterdam?

by Amsterdam.com
​In an effort to regain the city’s position as a top tourism destination, the I Amsterdam campaign was born to serve as both a motto and as a new brand for the city.

Although Amsterdam was one of the top ten tourist destinations in Europe for many years following the Second World War, by the start of this century the city had lost its place at the top due to increased competition from other tourist-friendly destinations in Europe. In response to this problem, a private-public partnership was formed to rebrand Amsterdam with a new city marketing campaign and in September of 2004 the “I Amsterdam” campaign was hatched to serve as a motto and as a new brand for the city.

Recognizing that the level of cultural awareness of a city is heavily shaped by media and marketing, the public-private partnership called Amsterdam Partners was formed to market the city and to expand cultural awareness by focusing on the three main core values of their city identified as creativity, innovation, and the spirit of commerce. The goal was to spread awareness about the virtues of the city and let people in other countries know that Amsterdam was not just about the sex trade, open drug use and the canals, and instead that the city was also a great place to live and work, and to visit as well of course. The purpose was to develop a diverse branding strategy that would appeal to tourists as well as to all of the businesses and individuals in the city. The I Amsterdam concept was not the first attempt at rebranding the city, but the previous slogans of “Amsterdam Has It” and “Capital of Sports” and “Small City, Big Business” were deemed as either too vague or too focused on single aspects of the city. When the partnership came up with the I Amsterdam campaign it was felt that particular slogan served the city better because it had a specific, instantly recognizable quality that allowed the citizens to express their pride and confidence while also showing support and love for their city.

Today, the new I Amsterdam slogan and logo is equipped with all the extensions and accessories of a modern marketing campaign including a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and even an app. Given the last eight years to imprint the new identity, the city of Amsterdam now enjoys increased tourism and Amsterdam is once again one of the top five European cities based on its brand strength and cultural assets combined. Perhaps the real measure of success for the I Amsterdam campaign is that the moniker is now not only part of the city’s cultural identity, but that it has also become an expression of the city’s inner strength and its overall pride as well.

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