Orlando. You don’t know the half of it…really.

By Laura Kern

If you don’t read any of this post, just watch this:

I’m bias, I live in Orlando and I love it here. After growing up in Southern New Jersey, Los Angeles for a few years, Orlando is my home and I never plan on leaving. If you are not from here, or maybe even if you are, you may be wondering why I’m so crazy about this city and region. Well, it’s probably because you don’t know Orlando the way I do.

I’ve seOrlando MetroPlanen the tourism side, worked in the publicity department at Universal Studios.

I’ve seen the business side, working with some of the largest companies in our region: Florida Hospital, Broad and Cassel, and the Orlando Economic Development Commission.

I’ve seen the quality of life of living in a two-season part of the world (Summer and Spring).

And after starting my business, less than two years ago, I’ve really seen the people. The residents that choose to call Orlando home are amazing, passionate people. I’ve had the privilege of working with them and seeing their vision of how they can each leave an impact on Orlando. It’s inspiring!

As a marketing professional I may not agree with every choice the Orlando EDC made with their new campaign for Orlando’s business brand, but at the core I appreciate their desire to share what really makes Orlando magical. And, sorry Disney, you’re not center stage this time. Who makes this little slice of land in the middle of Florida truly amazing? People.

Orlando redlight redlightDid you watch the video above? If you did, you’ll see what Orlando gets right (and the EDC in their branding). It is the people. I know or know of most of the people and businesses featured in this ‘sizzle reel’ of Orlando, and they are all passionate, friendly, inspiration folks who anyone would be crazy not to love to work with.

These people are the ones who are making the “other half” of Orlando stand out. The entrepreneurs, engineers, financial masterminds, makers, visionaries, and down right awesome people are the ones creating the new magic in Orlando.
From their own blood, sweat and tears will come the next big idea to change the world, and it’ll come from Orlando.

If you think Orlando is a little tiny city with no downtown, tons of chain restaurants, no creativity, no forethought outside of weekends in a theme park and no amenities, I’m happy to tell you that you are flat wrong. We are not New York or Chicago, but we’re pretty awesome. Orlando manufacturingAnd it’s all thanks to the really cool people who live here who decided they are going to change the language of this town from ticket prices and souvenir shops to skyscrapers full of creativity, farm to table, arts districts, festivals and entertainment, regional commuter rail and bikesharing, and so much more.

So, at the end of the day if you’re looking to get out of the cold, the grind, the high income taxes, or just want to be inspired, I challenge you to take a second look at Orlando. Because we’re pretty awesome!

Hope to see you soon!

P.S. – Want to get inspired and involved in Orlando? Here are a few of my awesome friends, all of whom are featured in the sizzle reel:


Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute

Downtown Development Board

Downtown Orlando Partnership

City of Orlando


Echo Interaction Group

Orlando Tech Association

jetBlue University

Lockheed Martin

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Orlando International Airport – MCO

Blue Bird Bake Shop

Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems

Bike paths

University of Central Florida

Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy

Full Sail University

EA Sports

Amway Center

Citrus Bowl

Mall at Millenia


Luma on Park


MetroPlan Orlando

Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour

East End Market


Verizon Communications Financial Center

Orange County Convention Center


Rifle Paper Co


Cask & Larder

P.P.S.- Interested in the Orlando EDC’s branding campaign? Check it out:

Orlando EDC Branding

:30 commercial

:60 commercial

Digital ad samples

Print ad samples

P.P.P.S. – Check out some of their coverage of the campaign so far:

The EDC wants the world to know Orlando is more than Parks, Bungalower

Disney helps Orlando pitch more than theme parks, Orlando Sentinel

Campaign re-brands Orlando as more than tourist destination, Fox 35

Orlando’s new ad campaign: ‘You don’t know the half of it’, WESH 2

Orlando’s new marketing strategy: Fantasy, meet reality. Orlando Sentinel

New TV ad showcases other ‘half’ of Orlando, News 96.5 FM

National Campaign Rebrands Orlando, WMFE 90.7 FM

Orange County’s economic outlook: Rosy, Orlando Sentinel

Orange County economy booming, leaders say, WFTV 9