Dunedin lets logo loose
DUNEDIN -- Commissioners unanimously approved the final phase of a controversial branding campaign that they hope will help pad city coffers.
Under the initial rollout, Dunedin will spend about $9,850 on a standing map directory at the marina, free Wi-Fi for downtown visitors, Jolley Trolley advertisements, street banners and magnetic decals for city vehicles. The city is also donating a Web domain, dunedinfl.com, to the Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, businesses that want to use the new image in their own marketing materials can immediately start filing applications with Dunedin's economic development department. Merchants won't be charged a royalty fee for now, but commissioners asked city staff to research what other city governments are doing.
Future proposed marketing strategies include advertisements at local airports and signs at bus stops.
"It's just the beginning for the chamber (of commerce), Visit Dunedin and the city to implement different avenues to get the brand out there," economic development director Bob Ironsmith said ahead of Thursday's commission meeting.
In response to commissioners' concern about people using the trademarked logo without permission, City Attorney Tom Trask said his office would send cease-and-desist letters or sue violators. Ironsmith said merchants will receive a marketing brochure to guard against inadvertent misuse of the brand.
The city logo, approved in July, features "DUNEDIN" spelled in blue, orange, red and green capital letters with the "E" formed by three wavy blue lines. Under that is the phrase "Home of Honeymoon Island."
City leaders launched the branding initiative in 2011, hoping to bump up revenues citywide by spreading the word about Dunedin's assets to potential tourists, businesses and residents around the world.
The campaign stoked months of debate among residents and pushback from detractors. Opponents included former City Commissioner David Carson, who thought the money was better spent on city expenses like employee raises, and dozens of residents, who said multiple proposed versions of the logo and slogan - including the final pick - didn't adequately reflect Dunedin's heritage and diverse charms.
Wilesmith Advertising and Design, the South Florida company that created the brand under a $73,150 contract, noted that the image's bright colors and slogan are intended to highlight Dunedin's whimsicality, beaches and unique state park - features available to visitors year-round.
"The purpose of this is not for us as residents to represent what we already know," local marketing expert and citizen Branding Selection Committee member Dan Zucker said during a February brainstorming meeting. "The purpose is to go outside and get people intrigued about Dunedin and what we are and Google it and come here."
--Keyonna Summers, Times Staff Writer