N.Y. takes 'I Love New York' brand across city lines


New York Gov. David Paterson and the state's marketing arm, Empire State Development Corp., on Tuesday relaunched the 31-year-old "I Love New York" brand, which has one of the world's best-known logos.

New York also is "reclaiming" the brand for the state, a brand that has come to be most often associated with New York City, especially in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The upgrade is the first major overhaul for the iconic logo, but even then, it is not all that major. There was no toying with something that works, officials indicated.

ilovenewyork logoTherefore, in print ads to appear in magazines and in Web banner ads, readers will see the familiar logo with tiny enhancements.

A full-page print ad that appeared in the New York Times Tuesday featured a logo with the profile of a tiny squirrel atop the "Y" and a tinier butterfly opposite over the "I," one to illustrate fall in New York and the other to illustrate summer, said Tom Ranese, chief marketing officer for Empire State Development.

In another version of the logo, the heart comes with purse strings to indicate shopping; another features a tiny profile of grapes hanging off the "Y" to signify food and wine; and a fourth uses a mini-heart beside the larger heart to signify that New York is a family destination, too.

Narrative in the ads also reflects the "New York voice," Ranese said.

For example, in a magazine ad to appear beginning in July, vineyards are promoted as follows: "You think you've got problems? Try being one of the hundreds of vineyards in New York state. To succeed here, the wine has to be just as good as what the city offers. It's taken hard work and sleepless nights. Did I grow the best grapes? Did I check every vat? Did I leave the oven on? Neurotic Vineyards. Another reason, I Love New York."

The $17 million campaign, with 50% of the budget devoted to Web-based marketing and advertising and none to TV, is designed to set New York state on a course to increase its 2006 tourism arrivals from 155 million to 200 million by 2020 and bring direct spending up from $47 billion to $60 billion.

Governor Paterson said the state put things in motion by increasing its tourism promotion budget by 54% as of 2006 and adding a marketing chief -- Ranese -- last year.

He said New York is such a great destination that "we shouldn't need a campaign but other states are rigorously pursuing this market so we have to go back to the type of campaign launched in 1977. That campaign flourished" and the state got a new state song: "I Love New York."

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin at [email protected].


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