Fresh for fall: Nevada launching revamped tourism campaign, focusing on Millennials in West

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CARSON CITY, Nevada — Nevada is launching a fresh tourism campaign focused on attracting adventure-loving millennials to the state — especially to the rural areas less trafficked than Las Vegas.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism voted Wednesday to approve the new fall/winter advertising blitz, which includes two new commercials that will start running in Nevada and in neighboring states in mid-November.

The spots feature travelers who make friends with a wide array of memorable Nevada characters, including bikers, famous chefs and cowboys. They close with the tagline, "Go home with more stories than souvenirs."

"Millennials and the travelers we're targeting have a maverick attitude, and they want individuality to shine through in everything they do — including travel," state tourism director Claudia Vecchio said in a statement.

The soundtrack on the commercials is a cover of the song "Don't Fence Me In" that was recorded by the Las Vegas-based band The Killers. The song has been used in state tourism commercials since 2013.

Vecchio said the state is now bringing in $33 in tourism revenue per $1 spent on advertising.

TV commercials won't be the only route for luring travelers to Nevada. The campaign also includes paid media partnerships with the music site Spotify and the travel booking site Orbitz, which will show Nevada ads when travelers search for similar destinations.

Market research used to develop the campaign found that most people have no idea what Nevada has to offer tourists outside Las Vegas. People interviewed beforehand mostly had neutral or negative opinions about the area, considering Nevada "a vast emptiness, a barren desert or lacking things to do," according to research by Destination Analysts.

Nevada's campaign needs to focus on unique activities outside of Las Vegas that travelers can't find in their home markets, the company said.

Tourism officials say the fall/winter campaign will cost about $1.7 million. The spring/summer blitz next year is expected to cost about $1.75 million, and components that are in place year-round are expected to cost about $1.35 million.

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