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Targeting the Big Apple

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Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal

A New York City taxi ride could soon come with a little New Mexico scenery.

New Mexico will take its tourism message to New York City in 2015, a plan that includes showing videos in select theaters. Shown is a still from a video that will likely be part of the campaign. (Courtesy of NM Tourism Department)

New Mexico will take its tourism message to New York City in 2015, a plan that includes showing videos in select theaters. Shown is a still from a video that will likely be part of the campaign. (Courtesy of NM Tourism Department)

The state Tourism Department will expand its marketing message into the Big Apple next fiscal year, hoping to tap a new base of visitors in the country’s most populous city. The plan incorporates video ads in some New York City movie theaters, taxi cabs and commuter trains; display advertisements at LaGuardia Airport; and some other, less-traditional means.

“We know we have a right to succeed in New York,” Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson said in an interview. “New York is a market we love.”

In addition to New York, the Tourism Department will target San Diego in 2015. Including ongoing efforts in Phoenix, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Chicago, the state will focus on a total of seven “fly” markets next year.

The Tourism Department evaluates potential advertising markets based on a number of factors, including travel time to New Mexico, air accessibility, potential interest in New Mexico and media costs.

New York scores well in several categories, especially given JetBlue’s nonstop flight between Albuquerque and JFK International Airport, Jacobson said.

Anecdotal evidence supports the move.

“We know a lot of our upscale properties around the state will call out New York as one of their top markets, so we know it’s a high-potential market,” Jacobson said.

Tourism spokeswoman Jolene Mauer said this is the first time the state has advertised in New York since the launch of the New Mexico True brand two years ago. It is not, however, the first-ever foray into the Big Apple. Among the most notable efforts was a Times Square billboard that included a photo of former Gov. Bill Richardson.

The state paid about $30,000 to use the space for 45 days in 2003, while five private partners contributed an additional $50,000 total.

The New York effort will total about $370,000, including digital ads. Due to the city’s high ad rates, the state will also employ social media and some “experiential marketing” to draw attention. That includes partnering with Food Network Magazine, which will send its branded food truck to high-traffic New York locations next May to serve treats inspired by New Mexico cuisine.

The New York effort runs next spring.

Images like this will be popping up throughout New York City as part of a tourism campaign being prepared by the state of New Mexico. The campaign includes video ads in theaters, taxi cabs and trains, and display ads at LaGuardia Airport and elsewhere. (Courtesy of NM Tourism Department)

Images like this will be popping up throughout New York City as part of a tourism campaign being prepared by the state of New Mexico. The campaign includes video ads in theaters, taxi cabs and trains, and display ads at LaGuardia Airport and elsewhere. (Courtesy of NM Tourism Department)

San Diego, meanwhile, will start seeing New Mexico True ads this fall, getting a multimedia effort. The campaign will cost about $400,000, including theater, print, airport, digital and cable TV ads.

“We don’t want to go anywhere that we can’t have a strong presence. In (New York) we’re going to do some really creative things to be sure we have that presence, but we’re not interested in going into a ton of markets (just) to tell people we’re in a ton of markets,” Jacobson said.

The department has allocated $8.6 million for marketing in fiscal year 2015, about 67 percent of its total budget.

National and fly market expenditures represent about $3.8 million.

Other funds will go toward advertising in “drive-in” markets – such as West Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma and northern Mexico – mainly in support of specific local fairs, festivals and special events.

The department also will buy some in-state advertising as part of its “I Am New Mexico True” campaign.

All advertising follows the New Mexico True brand, though each market gets a more tailored message. In Phoenix, summer ads showcase New Mexico’s relatively cooler weather. In Denver, they focus on New Mexico’s culture as opposed to its outdoor recreation opportunities, Jacobson said.

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