Purpose: A number of places have used the "I love" or "we love" tagline or slogan to promote their place, with the "I love New York" (using the heart symbol) possibly being the most familiar. Other places have used similar campaigns which can often be observed by the sale of merchandise from souvenir shops. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the "We love the Gong" campaign relative to the city of Wollongong, Australia.
Design/methodology/approach: After providing a background to the city of Wollongong and a brief explanation as to the meaning and use of slogans, an investigation of the campaign was undertaken by interviewing the person responsible for the campaign. Where appropriate, the explanations provided are supported by reference to local media reports and relevant literature.
Findings: It was found that the Wollongong campaign was more than a merchandising exercise. The campaign was a reaction to place identity and place image problems and was underpinned by research and a consequent marketing plan. The campaign was adequately resourced, professionally implemented, and research to monitor its effectiveness was undertaken.
Originality/value: The paper contributes to the application of management and marketing principles to places by providing details of the campaign and lessons learnt from a review of its implementation.