State’s new brand identity intended for wide-ranging uses

Nevada’s new tourism campaign, its first overhaul in four years and first ever statewide brand initiative, is designed to be used by state divisions as diverse as education, employment and economic development.

Businesses in Nevada, too, are being encouraged to take advantage of the content and use it in products, brochures or promotional items, according to Claudia Vecchio, director, Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, who with Governor Brian Sandoval and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki unveiled the campaign last week.

“We are open to creative ideas,” says Vecchio, and will provide businesses with digital content and guidelines on how to use it, including the state’s new tagline – “A world within. A state apart.”

The campaign was designed by the Santa Monica office of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, with the help of Y&R, the advertising firm formerly known as Young & Rubicam, and the Las Vegas office of RedRock Strategies, a public relations firm specializing in politics and public affairs. RedRock, besides acting as a local resource for Burson-Marsteller, helped the tourism department craft its message for last month’s tourism day at the Nevada legislature.

The campaign includes a revamped tourism web site,, with new features to help visitors plan a vacation; a similar application for Apple Inc. iPhones, available for download tomorrow; and a television and digital advertising push that features “Don’t Fence Me In,” a Cole Porter tune update performed by “The Killers,” a Las Vegas-based rock band.

“The web site was very aspirational before and we added tactical,” features such as a trip planner, says Michelle Stevenson, managing director, consumer and brand marketing at Burson-Marsteller.

The mission given Burson-Marsteller, says Stevenson, was threefold: to create a campaign that could be used year round by all state agencies and appeal to Nevadans as well as tourists.

The 15-second and 30-second ads for TV produced by Y&R, for example, feature mostly outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking, and a glimpse of a gambler and his chips, but it’s difficult to determine the location of any of the shots, whether in the southern Nevada desert, a northern Nevada river or a rural casino.

Y&R also wrote a description of the state and its peoples, recited at the launch by longtime Nevada reporter John Tyson, designed to be all things to all agencies. The mantra includes mention of mountains, silver mines, artists and oddballs and Las Vegas and Tahoe. And it also features the line “When other states restrict, we allow,” designed to convey several things, including the state’s business-friendly environment, says Vecchio.

The digital ad campaign will go out to a suite of online media, including news and travel sites as well as sites targeted at moms, says Stevenson, who usually make travel plans for their families.

The idea for a statewide plan originated with Gov. Sandoval, who directed the commission on tourism to broaden their new campaign to encompass other departments. In 2011, the commission hired GreenRubino, a Seattle-based brand design firm, but then in 2012 handed the project off to Burson-Marsteller. According to Stevenson, Burson-Marsteller did not use any of the work done by the former firm, but Vecchio says the research the state provided to Burson-Marsteller was done by GreenRubino.

The state paid GreenRubino $218,000 for its work, according to Bethany Drysdale, the director of public relations for the tourism agency. The contract with Burson-Marsteller is $3.2 million. The spring/summer ad rollout will cost $2.4 million while a follow-on winter ad buy will cost $1.5 million.

The launch last week featured a Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources brochure emblazoned with the new state slogan and the heads of several other departments, including Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Frank Woodbeck, the director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, were in attendance. Also there were members of Made in Nevada, a non-profit marketing cooperative for makers of products in the state.


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