State reuses 2009 summer ad campaign |

State reuses 2009 summer ad campaign


Utah is for families and has great luxury lodging. That’s a big part of the message the Office of Tourism wants to get across to Americans this spring and summer with its advertisements.

Governor Gary Herbert led a news conference on Tuesday that "kicked off" the $2.4 million national media advertising campaign.

Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the office, said Monday that surveys reveal travelers know Utah has great scenery, but aren’t always aware of what else the state offers including culture.

The actual ads for this year’s campaign will be the same as those used in 2009. That strategy was used with the recent "snowflake" campaign promoting Ski Utah. Like those ads, it was determined last summer’s spots "had more shelf life," she said.

If you don’t remember, the ads featured a family engaging in a number of activities, then asking, "What’s next?" Other spots show a family with a ridiculous amount of outdoor-recreation gear piled on top a family vehicle with the tag line, "road trip."

The ads usually include an image of Southern Utah, because those sites are iconic and recognizable, but also include families engaging in a multitude of activities. One ends with the family pulling into the five-star, five-diamond rated Stein Eriksen Hotel. That was another problem on the survey: Americans weren’t aware of Utah’s luxury accommodations.

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"You can have 800- or even 1,000-thread-count sheets after coming off 10 hours of riding a mountain bike all over Park City or picking up the Kimball Arts Festival or the Silly Sunday Market or a concert," von der Esch said.

Utah’s target market is residents in the 11 states surrounding ours, she said. The ad campaign should make clear that there’s something for everybody and emphasize value. In fact, the word value is in most or all the print advertisements.

So far, the campaigns appear to be working. The results of a 2009 survey reveal significant improvement in every area the state would like to be considered positively in as compared to 2006.

The purpose of press conferences like the one Tuesday is to make Utahns aware of all the state offers as well. With travelers looking to save money in the recession, many are expected to drive locally and "staycation." The ad campaign will hopefully get Utah residents from all over thinking about Lake Powell in the south, Park City in the center and the Utah Opera Festival in the north for vacations.

"It’s a way to remind people that if you haven’t been to Park City for brunch or to take a hike on a trail, you’re missing something," she said.

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