MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 1, 2013

New chamber campaign: REAL. OKIE.

Updated approach launched at chamber banquet

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Local citizens recently described Okies from Muskogee as “tough, a little quirky and filled with a genuine strength of character.”

A company hired to help create a new “identity campaign” for the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce posed a survey last fall.

Okies from Muskogee were also described as “strong people who survived tough times,” according to a media release.

The chamber teamed with Cubic Creative Inc. to “re-define the term ‘Okie from Muskogee,’ and update the chamber’s marketing materials — forming an identity campaign called REAL. OKIE.,”  said the chamber’s President and CEO Treasure McKenzie.

The new marketing tool was rolled out during the chamber’s annual banquet Thursday.

“The chamber has used ‘Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee’ in our marketing material for over 10 years,” McKenzie said. “It’s time to freshen our look and take the term Okie to the next level.”

Outgoing Chamber Chairman Jim Eaton said as he announced the campaign, “We realize the song may be outdated, but the phrase is not. We are Okies from Muskogee.”

A video featuring REAL. OKIE. was shown at the banquet and received tremendous applause from the attendees.

“REAL. OKIE. is the true definition of someone who lives in Muskogee and has a deep understanding and appreciation of living right and being free,” Eaton said.

Cubic researched the chamber’s existing marketing materials and interviewed many residents.

What they discovered is residents see Muskogee as a “very interesting community, made up of interesting characters ... genuine good folks,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said the chamber will soon introduce billboards and a retail line with T-shirts, stickers, hats and more.

Additionally, the chamber’s tourism ads will feature the new identity campaign, and the chamber’s website will be updated.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.