Park City gets a taste of ‘Life Elevated’
May 6, 2006
"Life Above It all Life With Elbow Room Life Soaring Life at 90 degrees Life Elevated" a voice concludes at the end of one of the Utah Office of Tourism’s new commercials.
The voiceover accompanies one of three new Utah Office of Tourism television advertisements shown Wednesday during the Park City Chamber/Bureau’s luncheon at The Yarrow hotel that showcased a variety of Utah attractions from mountain climbers hanging on Utah red rock to a skier cutting through Utah powder.
The special screening was a chance for Chamber/Bureau members and curious Parkites who missed the April 5 launch in Salt Lake, to attended a Park City viewing of Utah’s new brand "Life Elevated" in action. It also featured the Chamber/Bureau and Salt Lake International Airport commercials that ran in Chicago and San Diego this winter, partially financed by the state’s Cooperative Marketing Program.
Audience member Rep. Ross Romero, a Salt Lake Democrat who represents portions of Snyderville Basin, observed that it was "a show of Park City’s strength" that the Utah Office of Tourism and the office’s director, Leigh von der Esch, accepted Park City’s invitation to repeat the unveiling at Park City’s Yarrow Hotel.
The office "clearly recognizes the importance of Park City’s involvement in the tourism industry," he said.
Romero added that he enjoyed the fact that the "Life Elevated" ads, which touched on the diversity of the state’s landscape, also captured Utah’s artistic and cultural diversity.
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One ad, which von der Esch described as a series of testimonials, features the personal accounts of a range of Utah personalities from Forest Cuch, director of the Utah division of Indian Affairs, to Peter Metcalf, president of Black Diamond and Utah Senator Scott Jenkins. It was too difficult to capture Utah’s variety in a 30-second capsule, von der Esch says, "there is not an ad that we could produce that could show all the diversity we have."
Instead, the emphasis of the "Life Elevated" campaign is on the feeling of surprise that people typically experience when they visit the state, she said. The creative team behind "Life Elevated" found that a significant portion of travelers they polled returned to the state after visiting for the first time evidence, perhaps, that they did not know what they would find on their trip.
In part, the surprise comes from the fact that many are unfamiliar with Utah images, including the arches printed on license plates. An online survey of over 2,000 travelers conducted by the Office of Tourism, von der Esch said many confused Salt Lake’s skyline with Colorado, and the arch from Arches National Park with Arizona.
"The good news is that there are no negative images associated with the state," she said. "But our images don’t resonate you couldn’t have asked for a more important time to launch a brand."
The No. 1 response among those who returned to Utah is that it was fun, according to the survey. The second most popular reason was that it was "a good value for the money."
According to von der Esch, before 2005, the Utah Office of Tourism’s annual budget equaled Vail, Colo.’s summer advertising funds: $900,000. Part of the reason she believes Utah’s "Life Elevated" campaign will be a success is that the state granted the Office of Tourism $10 million last year.
The money has allowed the Office of Tourism to hire the marketing and advertising firm W Communications and has led to more than a two-word slogan, she insists.
"We’re in a perfect position to go after urban escapists and families of baby boomers," von der Esch said. "What this state has lacked for so long is more than a logo, it’s an emotional connection and consistent, long-term communication" with travelers.
Park City resident and Utah Board of Tourism Development Chairman Kim McClelland said the slogan in the context of print ads and commercials has already won over those who expressed skepticism early on.
"I kept saying be patient and let it all come together," he explained. "At this point there’s no question in my mind we’re moving in the right direction."
To view the television commercials developed by the Utah Office of Tourism, visit travel.utah.gov.
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