Mexico Beach CDC launches brand campaign

Mexico Beach is now the unforgettable coast.

As part of its rebranding campaign the Mexico Beach Community Development Council (CDC) has launched a new website, new logo and new attitude.

Gone is the pastel text and sandy backgrounds that once adorned the CDC’s website. The new look, which launched just before the holidays, features bold imagery, colors and text. The first thing a visitor is treated to is a full-screen photo of the emerald waters of the coastline.

And from the get-go, it’s clear what Mexico Beach is offering potential visitors.

“We had the old website for four years and thought it was time for a fresh look,” said CDC director Kimberly Shoaf. “The soft, muted look was great then, but we’re launching ourselves into new markets and wanted something captivating for the eyes. We needed something attention-grabbing.

“(The new site) allows us to reconnect with those who came to Mexico Beach 30-40 years ago. While we’ve changed, the only thing that’s really changed is that we added a couple of restaurants and a few more houses.”

Shoaf and the CDC’s marketing committee agreed to the facelift earlier this year and the site has been in the works for the past five months. The committee collaborated with Santa Rosa’s Cornerstone Media and Advertising, Inc., the same company responsible for both the design and build of the previous site.

“We sat down with them, told them what we wanted, and they came back with storyboards for the site,” Shoaf said. “The finished product accomplished more than I wanted it too. I’m excited about the fresher look.”

While the page offers much of the same content as before, Shoaf noted that sections were rearranged to bring the city’s bread and butter to the forefront. High traffic links pertaining to fishing, weddings and upcoming events are displayed prominently alongside the CDC’s current events blog and newsletter.

On the back end upgrades were made that will allow Shoaf and her team to track visitors' usage of the site and pinpoint what they’re looking for.

The stats, Shoaf said, proved that recent television advertisements broadcast in the Tennessee and Texas markets were successful with users from those states logging on to the site to learn more about accommodations around Mexico Beach.

“Those ads paid off and we can continue to go into those markets,” Shoaf said. “These stats will help us grow as a destination. If we know what a visitor wants we can meet those needs.”

The new attitude will carry over into future print and marketing materials, creating a unified message for the CDC’s marketing efforts.

While city residents are vocal about not losing what makes Mexico Beach special, and not wanting to become the next Panama City Beach or Destin, Shoaf said she expects the new brand to attract the same demographic as before. Ideally, it will just reach more of them.

“The old look was a soft and beachy,” Shoaf said. “We are that, but we’re more. We’re bold, exciting, refreshing and we want people to see that.”

In an age where taking a vacation can cause its own set of stresses, whether it be travel, planning, or lodging, Shoaf noted the goal is for guests to never feel exhausted after leaving Mexico Beach.

“Vacationing here should be anything but work,” Shoaf said. “The hardest work you have to do is putting on a cover-up before you go to dinner.”

Visit the new website online at www.mexicobeach.com.