Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I recently read an amusing article about the city of Paris launching a smile campaign to induce tourism. Paris is often thought of by (American) tourists as snobby and unfriendly and has recently experienced a significant decline in tourism, due in part to the city’s unfriendly reputation. In attempt to change that negative image, the Paris tourist board decided to ask its citizens to help out and turn their frowns upside down and sport a smile instead of a snarl. Personally, I enjoy Paris and have never thought the city dwellers to be particularly unfriendly. In fact, I find their tendency to be curmudgeonly rather comforting and familiar. I like a city where even little kids sneer at you for mispronouncing Côtes du Rhône. Apparently I am alone in my enjoyment of a somewhat surly disposition as the tourist board is quite adamant in their belief that something as simple as a smile can help the city’s lagging economy.

Maybe they are right—after all smiles are a big a part of popular slogans like “Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” And who can forget the Coke campaign telling you to “Have a Coke and a smile.” People like smiles. They also like toast; which is why the Logo Toaster-Smile Face is the perfect brandable gift since it combines the popularity of the smile with a delicious and nutritious treat. Let your clients and prospects know you have a sense of whimsy by giving them a smile every morning. That way you will be with them at the beginning of every day.

I’m dashing off to a meeting with the Paris, Texas tourist board—I’ve got a rock solid idea for generating more tourism. In the meantime, do as W.C. Fields says and, “Start every day with a smile and get it over with.”