New Mexico tourism officials fight state's dull reputation

Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:44pm EDT
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By Zelie Pollon

SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) - Tourism officials in New Mexico are launching a new slogan, "New Mexico True," that they hope will change perceptions of the state which was described by a focus group last year as "barren," "dull" or merely "close to Arizona."

The goals of the campaign are to lure adventure-seeking young people to the state and to combat the misconception that there's nothing to do there, said state tourism secretary Monique Jacobson.

"New Mexico is about site doing, not sightseeing," Jacobson told Reuters. "It's a place with true beauty, adventure and rich, authentic experiences."

The $2 million campaign kicks off on Tuesday in Texas, Arizona and Colorado.

Television advertising spots highlight couples, families and individuals relaxing in natural hot springs, kayaking, making pottery or guiding llamas down winding forest paths.

Print ad tag lines include "Adventure that feeds the soul begins here."

The campaign got off to a rocky start earlier this year when its casting call ad requested Caucasian or light-skinned Hispanic actors. Newspaper editorials castigated state officials for a lack of tact.

Jacobson declined to comment on the casting call, saying: "We hope that's behind us now. The spot really does celebrate New Mexico."   Continued...

Undated handout image courtesy of the New Mexico Tourism Department shows a tourism campaign advertisement of a llama trek. REUTERS/New Mexico Tourism Department/Handout