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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 23, 2005
CONTACT:  Dennis Schain, 860-524-7313
                      dennis.schain@po.state.ct.us

Governor Rell Unveils Innovative New State Tourism Advertising Campaign

Distinctive, Inviting Look and Feel Represent Bold Strategy for Tourism Marketing

Governor M. Jodi Rell today unveiled the state's new CONNECTICUT advertising campaign.

"This is the first new state branding strategy in more than a decade," Governor Rell said. "The advertising campaign is based on the strikingly simple concept of "connect," a word inherent in the state's name that lends instant personality and action to every aspect of communications.

"Tourism is a $10 billion industry in Connecticut, employing 150,000 people and generating $2.3 billion in state and local revenue. It's a smart investment. For every $1 million state taxpayers invest, $50 million is returned. This means our new CONNECTICUT branding strategy, with its unique regional component, not only represents a fiscally sound investment for the state today, it is moving Connecticut into a position of unprecedented strength to compete for future tourism dollars.

"The campaign presents a completely new look and feel for the state - one that emphasizes the needs of the individual and the many levels upon which Connecticut can rejuvenate a visitor."

The CONNECTICUT campaign features vibrant graphics designed to "connect" emotionally with metro New York and Connecticut audiences seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway, and offers a significant departure from the conventional tourism marketing programs utilized by mid-Atlantic and other New England states that typically compete with Connecticut to attract tourist income. Additionally, it represents a new level of collaboration between the state and its five tourism regions.

The campaign, designed to generate the strongest market presence possible utilizing the combined power of regional television, print and internet placements, officially breaks the week of May 30, with the broadcast of two 30-second television spots in the greater New York metropolitan area and Connecticut. A free-standing newspaper insert is slated for release in June, with online promotions and advertising scheduled throughout the summer. Further supporting the CONNECTICUT marketing launch, a new website, CTvisit.com, went live today reflecting the campaign's innovative look and feel.

According to Jennifer Aniskovich, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism (CCT), the agency responsible for developing the $4.4 million CONNECTICUT campaign, the state's new branding initiative targets a specific audience: women in the New York metropolitan area and Connecticut, ages 35 - 54, who travel primarily with other adults and enjoy an annual household income in excess of $80,000.

"Competition for tourism dollars along the eastern seaboard is fierce - at a time when Connecticut's marketing resources are declining," Aniskovich said. "Our campaign sets us apart from our New England competitor states, who use traditional scenic-based imagery. The approach is fresh and innovative, setting us apart from the advertising clutter, and providing a flexible way to celebrate Connecticut's five distinct tourism regions."

The CONNECTICUT campaign is designed to showcase the many ways in which people connect with Connecticut by focusing on the emotional rewards of a Connecticut getaway. The campaign's primary message is that, for the person contemplating a break from the pressures of a stressful job or the monotony of a daily routine, Connecticut provides a multitude of fulfilling options for refreshing and reconnecting.

In addition to the highly evocative and emotive state commercials and print ads that convey the re-energizing effects of quick Connecticut escapes, the state's tourism regions execute a variation of this theme on a local level. Each region will use customized print ads, with region-specific messages that reinforce the statewide message, to sell the attributes of its area. This integration will evolve through 2005 and 2006.

This collaborative branding strategy, which relies upon well-defined roles for the regions and state, is "very innovative," said Aniskovich. "While the state focuses on connecting emotionally with our target audience, the regions celebrate their individual sense of place and the singular things to do and see in their respective areas. It is a smart way to leverage our collective investment by executing the campaign on two levels."

The strategy was developed in concert with the state's five tourism regions and industry experts, and is based upon extensive consumer market research. It has never before been successfully achieved in Connecticut or elsewhere in the country.

For more information about the new CONNECTICUT, log onto CTvisit.com, call 888-CTvisit or visit any of Connecticut's six official Welcome Centers.

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