Revamped ‘I Love New York’ Campaign Spends Big on Digital

The “I Love New York” logo, created in 1977 by graphic designer Milton Glaser, ranks right up there with the most iconic images ever created. The art was commissioned by Albany as part of a campaign to support tourism efforts for the whole state, but over time it came to be identified exclusively with New York City.

I heart new york.jpg The State’s now trying to reclaim its original message with a new campaign executed by Saatchi & Saatchi. Built on the foundation of the original art and tagline, the effort will spend about $17 million on a variety of media to promote the Empire State’s outdoor and cultural attractions. Roughly half the money will go to interactive channels, including a Web site that can print and mail customized brochures based on user-specified interests.

The print-on-demand effort will let site visitors choose a region they’d like to visit and select two interest areas, for instance Active Adventures, Fine Arts & Crafts, or Living Heritage. Saatchi & Saatchi worked with print-on-demand firm EarthColor to refine the project, which will reduce the state’s 200-page travel guide to about 40 pages, saving considerably on print and shipping costs while benefiting the environment.

“We wanted to help people get to the information that they were really looking for in a more focused way,” said Andrew Smith, SVP and director of interactive for Saatchi & Saatchi. “It’s a lot less paper, a lot more environmentally sound.”

The display ad campaign combines geo- and site-based targeting to reach people within a three- to five-hour drive — or “one tank of gas” — of the Hudson Valley and upstate regions Albany hopes to stimulate with new tourism dollars. To that end Saatchi & Saatchi is directing ads in all channels to three urban areas — Toronto, New York City, and Cleveland — which it’s calling “feeder cities.” The goal: to increase tourism 30 percent by 2020.

The campaign launched Tuesday, and Saatchi & Saatchi placed an estimated 60 million impressions that day on a range of sites including AOL, MSN, MapQuest, and the Region and Travel sections of The New York Times’ Web site. Rich media executions include synchronized display ads on NYTimes.com and video on ILoveNY.com. An extensive search program is also included.

American Express, JetBlue, Orbitz and Travelocity are among the campaign’s promotional partners. Some of those partners have added original landing pages and content to their Web presences as well as in their online ads separate from the campaign’s direct advertising efforts.

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