Skip to the main content

Branding a City That Won’t Be Built for 20 Years


Excerpt from AdWeek.

How can an agency help define a place that, according to its own press release, “won’t be fully complete for another 20 years?” That’s the challenge faced by Chicago-based agency VSA Partners and Colombian consultancy Novus Civitas.

The Caribbean port city of Cartagena has long been a romantic destination of choice for discerning travelers. But its aging infrastructure, limited public services and outdated industry led one Colombian family to envision an entirely new city on the Cartagena coast—Serena del Mar.

“It’s no easy task putting a city on the map, literally,” said Nicole Haime, director of international marketing and business development at Novus Civitas. “We called upon the world’s leading experts to generate the master plan and then the best communications agencies to package that story in a creative and insightful way.”

Those experts included architect Moshe Safdie and golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, among many others. They laid the groundwork while VSA and Novus Civitas worked to apply “modern sensibility to the region’s authentic culture, color and topography.”

Read the full story on AdWeek here