Outside of New York City, few people have heard of Lewis Rudin. But in 1971, with the city facing the worst economic slump in its history, the real-estate developer sent a historic telegram summoning 125 key chief executives to a meeting at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue.
"As a leader of your industry in New York City you are urged to attend a special luncheon meeting Tuesday, December 1st, 12:00 noon," it read.
"We have mapped plans for direct and immediate action to hold businesses in New York City and to attract new businesses. To protect your investment it is of vital importance that you attend."
It was the birth of the Association for a Better New York, a coalition of business leaders, workers, organisations and politicians that went on to rebrand and reinvent New York as "The Big Apple".
According to Miriam Greenberg, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and author of the 2008 book Branding New York: How a City in Crisis Was Sold to the World, until the mid-Seventies New York had a bad international reputation as a dangerous place, created largely by an endless stream of feel-bad films - such as Taxi Driver, Escape from New York, the Death Wish franchise and Fort Apache, The Bronx.
And then, in 1977, came the "I love New York" campaign, conceived by the New York State Department of Commerce and supported by Rudin's Association for a Better New York.
"It became very quickly an extremely successful campaign, at least in cultural terms," Dr Greenberg told The New York Times in a 2008 interview.
"They used great local talent ... to design the logo, TV ads that featured members of great musicals on Broadway, emotional appeals with cast members staring straight into the camera."
Jack Arrowsmith, global marketing manager for FutureBrand, the London-based international brand consultancy, says other countries have much to learn from previous national branding campaigns, including "I Live New York" but also "100% Pure New Zealand", which began a decade ago and continues to run.
"That has been very successful. They started it as speculative ad campaign, but have really worked on the overall strategy and how that relates to New Zealand as a country.
"That's how most country brands start out, seeking to raise tourism numbers, but they then want to make people more aware of the country itself, its history, culture its heritage - why it's good to visit as a tourist but also why it's good to do business and to live there."
Likewise, Singapore's "Uniquely Singapore" campaign, which ended two years ago, did the right job at the right time - stressing the country's unique qualities in terms of both its neighbours and the West. And last month, Abu Dhabi took over New York's Times Square to promote itself as a tourist destination.
For the past seven years FutureBrand has produced the influential Country Brand Index, which assesses global perceptions of nations on a range of measures.
Canada, says Arrowsmith, used the index to tailor its marketing plan over the past few years "and you can actually see that their brand has been elevated in the index. They made a conscious effort to have a dedicated team who worked to change the perception of Canada for the better and they used the Vancouver winter games two years ago as a platform to do that."
Big events, he says, are always a good way to showcase a country - but a nation must deliver on its promises.
London, he says, is making the most of the impending Olympics. "With the Great Britain campaign they released about nine months ago they have got their ducks in a row in terms of who we are as a country and what we should say ... and in addition to that they've created a very well-put-together games. It's about showing Britain as a nation that's open to the world and can deal with the biggest events."
And, says Arrowsmith, global marketing manager for FutureBrand, whatever logo the UAE picks to project its global image, the 2011-12 report shows that the country has already done its essential groundwork.
"There's a difference between raising your profile and getting the right attention," he said. "You have to live up to whatever you're saying - there's no point saying things if you can't deliver - and the UAE certainly has something to sell."
In the MENA region, the UAE reigns supreme in the latest Country Brand Index, up from third place last year to hold the top slot, ahead of Israel and Egypt, but it owes its 25th place overall out of the 113 countries surveyed to a blend of positive attributes.
The UAE is rated at ninth place for job opportunities, one spot after Qatar and the only other Middle Eastern country in the top ten, beating the UK and Japan, and with Switzerland, Australia and Sweden in the top three slots.
At 15th position, it is the highest-placed Middle Eastern country for standard of living, and at 19th for quality of life - sandwiched between France and Spain.
When it comes to "Good for business", a category led by Europe's three solid big hitters - Switzerland, Sweden and Germany - in 20th place the UAE is the only regional player in the top 25.
As a result, perhaps, of the globally recognised work of organisations such as Masdar and Mubadala, the UAE holds a highly creditable 11th place for its advanced technology - a category dominated, unsurprisingly, by Japan, the US and Germany.
Unsurprisingly, the UAE holds its own when it comes to tourism. At 25th slot, in company with such tourism giants as the US, the Maldives and Mauritius, it is the only regional player - and when it comes to the quality of resorts the UAE is in sixth place, beaten only by Maldives, Mauritius, Japan, Switzerland and the US.