Newport News destination persona

the good the bad and the authentic: how owning it all is the only way to go

When you’re in the field of helping destinations find their voice, there’s a pivotal first question that must be asked when partnering with a client: who are you?

In sunny SoCal, Newport Beach boasts a multitude of assets – a beautiful and diverse coastline, tons of shopping destinations, a robust upscale dining scene, dozens upon dozens of annual events, award-winning golfing, and much more. But then, so do a lot of locations along the golden coast.

What makes Newport Beach stand on its own? What makes it different from Huntington Beach to the north and Laguna Beach to the south? Who are you?

It was time to create something completely unique, and to help them show their authentic self in a way they had yet to consider. In order to accomplish this, we would need to discover the hidden gems of the destination, and marry them to the overall attitude and reputation that we already knew Newport Beach possessed. After a deep dive into researching the area, spending time in the city to explore its various neighborhoods and becoming very well-acquainted with its twists and turns, we figured out what makes them tick.

So who is Newport Beach – what makes up their DNA?

It is a place where upscale and quirky live side by side in perfect harmony, and where everyone and everything is beautiful and diverse and fantastic. This balancing of opposites is uniquely Newport Beach, and it’s what sets them apart from the surrounding beach destinations.

However, there’s a flipside to this endless perfection. People already tend to have a certain perception of Orange County in general (see hit television series The O.C. from 2003-2007), but Newport Beach in particular is often associated with words like “upscale”, “bougie”, and “wealthy”. And as is often the case, perfection can be off-putting.

But if you’re going to truly embrace who you are, you need to jump in with both feet. Being able to laugh at one’s stereotypes is endearing and welcoming. We saw the upscale perfection of Newport Beach not as something that should be hidden, but as an aspirational asset – and it would end up becoming a cornerstone for their new campaign.

“Journey Well Beyond” is a call to arms, inviting people to explore the perfect lifestyle that Newport Beach is both teased and loved for. Not only is it okay to indulge in your upscale fantasies, it’s highly encouraged, in whatever way it holds true for you. Your idea of a lavish vacation is probably not the same as mine, and that’s okay – because we’re both going to get what we want. All are welcome to step outside normal, everyday life, to act/dress/savor/luxuriate to your heart’s desire.

This campaign is a story of acknowledging who you are, seeing it as an asset, and owning it. Check out the thirty-second commercial spot below and see what it means to Journey Well Beyond:

[Briton is an Orange County native and apologizes if “California” by Phantom Planet is now stuck in your head.]



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Craig Fuller
Paul Whitbeck

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