RBFF changes “Water Works Wonders” brand

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has begun a new branding direction with an expanded target audience to enhance its ongoing marketing initiative to grow fishing and boating participation nationwide, RBFF reported in a recent release.

The non-profit organization's “Water Works Wonders” brand has been changed to “Take Me Fishing.” The RBFF board of directors made the decision in response to findings from a 2004 advertising awareness study and other campaign evaluation considerations.

The study revealed the campaign's message to be powerful and effective, and reached 23 percent of lapsed/occasional anglers and 31 percent of the avid/semi-avid. Both groups had significant increases in post-campaign awareness from 2003 to 2004, at 5 and 13 percentage points respectively. After four years, the campaign continues to score well above advertising industry averages for common measures of effectiveness such as ad recall, involvement, salience and persuasion.

However, RBFF said brand recall for the campaign is underperforming. In aided brand-name testing, the “Water Works Wonders” brand was recalled by only 10 percent of avid anglers and six percent of lapsed/occasional anglers.

Among the findings, consumers said use of the “Water Works Wonders” brand left questions about what exactly the ads were asking them to do and who is doing the asking. They also said the campaign's “Take Me Fishing” message and images were more straightforward and easier to understand.

During the decision process, the RBFF board revisited why the “Water Works Wonders” brand was originally created. It was developed to serve as an umbrella brand for all boating and fishing stakeholders, to provide a shared rallying point, and because it was universal enough in meaning to include aquatic stewardship. However, even among industry users of the campaign's elements, the “Take Me Fishing” images and message have been more utilized than the “Water Works Wonders” logo.

“The NMMA is in support of RBFF's decision about the campaign,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA. “Their research indicates that the 'Take Me Fishing' message appeals to the target audience and furthers the goal of increasing boating and fishing participation nationwide. We see the effort as highly complementary to what we're doing with our Grow Boating initiative.”

“Those who are already using 'Water Works Wonders' materials will continue to benefit from the significant equity of previous years,” said board member, Mike Nussman, ASA president and CEO. “But 'Take Me Fishing' is a loud and clear call to action, and leaves no doubt as to what we are asking the American public to do.”

RBFF is quick to point out that the logo change is not a change in brand strategy. “Our brand strategy remains the same … family connection is still the primary message,” said Bruce Matthews, RBFF president and CEO. “This is what our stakeholders have really embraced from day one.”

In anticipation of questions as to how the change might affect the current marketing efforts of industry partners, RBFF board chair and the president of Zebco, Jeff Pontius, said, “We understand that this change will have implications for the companies who have leveraged the Water Works Wonders logo. Some of the program's biggest supporters are RBFF board members.

“At Zebco, we have been using the Water Works Wonders logo on product catalogs, packaging and collateral materials. We'll gladly change our materials over time to use the new logo, which we agree is stronger.”

The new Take Me Fishing logo is now available for download at www.rbff.org, and is located under “Cooperative Marketing Materials.” The logo is also available on CD ROM by contacting Monica Powell at 703-519-0013 or mpowell@rbff.org.

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