‘West Mass’ organizers seek input on name

For the Gazette
Published: 4/19/2017 11:14:21 PM

GREENFIELD — Organizers behind the $80,000 “West Mass” branding strategy are seeking input on their promotional direction.

The move comes after “West Mass” was met with many negative reactions, including a petition aimed to stop the brand from becoming a reality.

A survey, hosted on SurveyMonkey, asks the public to choose between “West Mass” and “Western Mass,” and fill out basic demographic information. There’s also a chance at the end of the survey to write confidential comments.

No one from the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, the Springfield organizations behind the branding effort, could be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

Critical reception

Opposition to the marketing effort and the new name — which took nearly a year and $80,000 to complete — arose immediately after “West Mass” was unveiled by the Oklahoma creative agency Cubic Creative in February.

In the weeks following, an online petition was started by East Longmeadow business owner Dylan Pilon. Since then, it has garnered just shy of 1,500 signatures.

As a result, Pilon said he’s since been invited to a few meetings with members of the economic development council and visitors bureau to share input.

“It’s nice they listened to us, brought us in, and got our thoughts. The ‘West Mass’ thing fell flat. It was never great to begin with. In my opinion, the problem is, initially, they didn’t reach out to anyone outside their organization,” Pilon said Wednesday.

Elsewhere online, a promotional video released on YouTube in conjunction with the new “West Mass” name received such a bad public reaction the visitors bureau soon took it down.

To take the survey, visit svy.mk/2pTots4. Pilon’s petition can be found at bit.ly/2phBsaU.

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