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It was Christmas in September at the Branson Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday.

Leah Chandler, chief marketing officer for the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau, delivered the Christmas plans to the board.

“We’ve been working on Christmas plans for several months,” Chandler said. “We’ll be kicking off quicker than we realize.”

According to Chandler, the media investment for the 2017 Christmas season is $122,470. With $20,000 going to social media, $25,000 for content distribution, $67,470 for display marketing and $10,000 for search-engine marketing.

One of the major points of emphasis during the Christmas season in Branson will be the inclusion of ground graphics, showcasing different Christmas trees in the community. Thompson said the program has grown since its inception in 2016.

“I think we’re up to over 50 trees now that will be represented,” Chandler said. 

Information on the tree tour will be included on a brochure with a detailed map breaking down each tree’s location and type. According th Chandler, there will be four types of trees on display.

“It’s represented by the natural trees, the fancy light trees, so a lot of the LED trees are featured here, creative trees that different businesses put up and traditional Christmas trees,” Chandler said.

When discussing the types of Christmas advertising, Chandler said the focus will be on the feeling of Christmas in Branson.

“We talk about the lights, live shows, family traditions, shopping: Those are some of the corner stones of our Christmas messaging,” Chandler said. 

Chandler also detailed information on a televised advertising campaign. Beginning on Oct. 30, the core markets will be both Joplin and Springfield. Primary markets include both Kansas City and St. Louis, as well as Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fayetteville/Ft. Smith and Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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“We’ll have core market messaging followed by primary market messaging throughout the month of November,” she said. 

When asked about the timing of beginning Christmas marketing, Chandler said research showed a negative reaction to Christmas advertising before Halloween.

“We tried this about two years ago, seeding messaging via social media and seeing how consumers would react,” she said. “We tried posting Christmas and got a very, very negative reaction. So people want to have an opportunity to get through Halloween at least, some people want to wait until after Thanksgiving, but we can’t wait that long.”

Branson’s logo will also be undergoing a Christmas redesign. Using the same base design as the updated city logo, the Christmas design declares Branson as “America’s Christmas Tree City.”

“We’re going to be using this in all our Christmas executions,” Chandler said. “We’ll be using it in digital, in print, and we even have an animated version for television. So it’s just an opportunity for us to share the spirit of Branson at Christmas and make something very specific for the messaging of this time of year.”

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