The state of Connecticut unveiled a new tourism platform around the tagline ‘Still Revolutionary’ this week. The new place branding campaign, which kicked off Monday, is described as a two-year, $27 million dollar initiative to bolster travel and the northeastern state's image and coffers.
Unveiled by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, and Deputy Commissioner Kip Bergstrom, ‘Still Revolutionary’ emerged from a crowdsourcing effort that asked more than 1,500 residents (and businesses, such as Stew Leonards), “What’s Your Connecticut Story?” The project gathered locals' thoughts on what they love most about living, working, and playing in Connecticut.
“While neighboring states have engaged in vigorous campaigns to attract tourism dollars, Connecticut has languished, and as a result, we were literally taken off the tourism map. Starting today, we begin to change that,” said Malloy at the press kick-off on Monday.
In 2011, Connecticut tourism generated about $11.5 billion in spending, $1.15 billion in state and local tax revenue and employed nearly 111,000 workers. Malloy ran for governor with promises to put Connecticut back on the map after his predecessor, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, cut the tourism budget to $1 in 2010. Adding insult to injury, Connecticut was removed from regional marketing alliance Discover New England’s promotional map after failing to pay a $100,000 membership fee.
“’Still Revolutionary’ speaks to Connecticut’s deep roots in the founding of this country and reminds us that we still have that independent, revolutionary spirit. For centuries we have been the home of literary greats, innovators and natural wonders — an incredibly diverse array of products and talent, all right here in Connecticut. We are a beautiful state, and we are very proud of our history, even as we look toward our future. It’s time we did a better job of telling that story,” concluded the Governor.
“Connecticut wants its 'I Love New York' moment,” said Jim Ritterhoff, a partner at New York ad agency Chowder, one of four firms tapped by the Connecticut to lead the campaign. “The best way to boost confidence in the girl with low self-esteem at the dance is to ask her to dance,” added Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Harrison Group, a market-research firm that worked on the project.
One way the state is still revolutionary that's bound to attract some tourism: the fifth of the original 13 states became the second state (after Massachusetts) to legalize same-sex marriage, on November 12, 2008.
Besides the traditional TV, print, outdoor and online components, the social and digital components of the "Still Revolutionary" campaign include a Pinterest effort (feel free to pin your fave Connecticut pics here). There's also a free download of the campaign's anthem, "Better With You" — a song commissioned for the campaign, performed by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra with vocals by UCONN student, Dinelle Glaze — is available on Connecticut Tourism's Facebook page.
Below, watch the "Still Revolutionary" launch TV spots: