New Louisiana State tourism campaign takes on music theme

February 14 2013 | Latest News

Ads urge tourists to come to Louisiana for a variety of reasons,

February 13, 2013

By Marsha Shuler,Capitol news bureau- The Advocate

Louisiana music is the focus of the state’s 2013 tourism campaign launched this week in markets around the country.

“Music is the soul of Louisiana and it’s one of the many passions to draw people to the state, so we decided to focus on our substantial music legacy this year,” said Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees state tourism efforts.

The campaign includes a series of 30-second television commercials and print and Web advertisements. The initial expenditure for the spring buy is $2 million, Dardenne said.

Some of the print ads will be made into posters, he said.

The ads run in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock and Memphis, which are “traditional drive markets,” as well as Atlanta and Chicago — cities with direct flights to New Orleans, Dardenne said. Chicago is a new focus, he said.

“Our objective is to get people in the door in Louisiana and hopefully open doors to other parts of the state,” Dardenne said.

The ad campaign was created by Trumpet, a New Orleans-based advertising firm under contract with the Office of Tourism.

Dardenne said whatever tourism officials can do to get more people to Louisiana will add dollars to the economy as well as jobs.

“Obviously, the more money we are able to generate from people visiting our state, the larger impact,” he said.

Some 25.5 million people visited Louisiana last year. “We expect that number to increase,” Dardenne said.

One in 11 Louisiana jobs are in the hospitality industry, Dardenne said.

“It’s a $10 billion industry,” Dardenne said. “The money we spend on bringing people to Louisiana is going to create jobs in Louisiana.”

Dardenne said the tourism ad campaign is “a modest buy” compared with Louisiana’s competitors. He said Tennessee’s governor wants to increase that state’s tourism budget by $8 million. “Florida is steadily increasing its tourism budget,” he said.

“We have maintained the level of spending we had last year. We are trying to move in the right direction in terms of our budget,” Dardenne said.

The television spots feature Louisiana music and musicians. Each ends with an announcer urging “Come to Louisiana and Pick Your Passion.”

In one, musicians play as the words “Where the music never stops … And most of it started” pop up on the screen.

Another starts with a jazz trumpeter as “The Birthplace of Jazz” pops up on the screen then moves on to snippets of musicians playing zydeco, swamp pop and brass hop “and a couple of things we’re not sure what they call yet,” according to the ad.