It’s been 60 days since we launched our new campaign, The Edge of the Triangle – not that long, but long enough for us to assess certain aspects of it, especially the response locally. The reaction to the campaign has been predominantly positive, reflective of what we learned in the year of research conducted before we initiated it. Visitors and local stakeholders – retailers, restaurateurs, and hoteliers – told us that Chapel Hill is, in the parlance of advertisers, our “brand”; they come here because they want to be in a progressive and edgy environment, and they see Chapel Hill as representing that image to them.

But the truth is, Orange County is so much more than just one town, and we’ve had encouraging feedback that supports a more holistic approach to how we market the area. It’s been years since Carrboro was Chapel Hill’s “little brother”: yes, it’s all grown up now and has a personality distinct from Chapel Hill. Cat’s Cradle is in Carrboro, as is Weaver Street, film and music festivals, farmers’ markets and free markets. We’ve changed the campaign to reflect this: Carrboro now shares billing with Chapel Hill.

The same goes for Hillsborough. Hillsborough is unique: it’s both historic and progressive. Once the colonial capital of North Carolina and home to several royal and elected governors and a signer of the Declaration of Independence (William Hooper, whose house still stands), Hillsborough is where some of our greatest writers, photographers and painters live.

Neither Hillsborough nor Carrboro were omitted from the new campaign, but they need to have a brighter light shined on them within it, and that’s what they have now.

Orange County spoils us with its riches. Our job is to bring people here so they can experience it for themselves – and this is what we’re doing. But it’s never enough; we want more. Visitors who come here help our community in so many ways, and leave an invisible footprint behind when they go. They need to know that there’s a new triangle in town: it’s Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough. And a triangle has three edges.


Dave Gephart
Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau