‘Tis the Season Already?
New holiday campaign showcases the allure of NOLA festivities
It is the first week of October and it’s getting harder to ignore the Christmas trees at Costco, the ornaments for sale at Walmart and the menorahs on the shelves at Target (I promise I shop locally too). Retailers are going full speed ahead with the winter holidays, even though we still have four glorious weeks of Halloween fun. Marching to the beat of the same second line drum, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) has launched a new promotional campaign encouraging visitors to come to New Orleans this holiday season.
The effort builds on the #OneTimeInNOLA campaign and entices visitors to partake in the distinctive experiences that New Orleans offers during the holidays.
"The holiday season in New Orleans is unique, breathtaking and full of great experiences for locals and tourists alike," said Mark Romig, president and CEO of NOTMC, in a press release. "This year, we are targeting our drive markets and promoting our holiday events and neighborhoods that embody the spirit and essence of the season."
The campaign’s focus on New Orleans’ top drive markets includes Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. Three holiday banners with the tag line “Visit and start your story” feature holiday scenes at Jackson Square, the St. Charles streetcar passing my friend’s neighbor’s house and a warm mulled cocktail.
The TV spots pull at the emotional side of the holidays. A young woman in voiceover tells us how holiday traditions don’t usually lend to the creation of stories, saying, “There’s comfort in what we’ve always done. But there are stories in what we do next.” The filmmakers opted for orchestral music instead of the predictable jazz, and the viewer is lead through New Orleans holiday activities exclusive to our culture – bonfires on the levee, live oaks wrapped in white lights, Reveillon dinner at Antoine’s, fireworks on the river, and a child’s wonder at Celebration in the Oaks. It concludes with the message, “Our holidays are different. Leave with a story, not a souvenir.”
It’s a powerful 60 seconds and it made me want to spend the holidays in New Orleans. Then I remembered I’m pretty lucky and I get to do just that.
The TV spots are running strategically on all major television affiliates in those drive markets. Hit shows on FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC with ad placement include “Blackish,” “Empire,” “Grey's Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “This Is Us” and “Will & Grace.” Digitally, the campaign will also be on Hulu, YouTube and banner ads will be used on various websites.
The campaign will continue into the actual holiday season with live social media coverage beginning Nov. 30. Events that are part of Christmas New Orleans Style, as well as locations like Audubon Zoo and City Park, will take a staring turn. Even a new website has been created to guide visitors to holiday fun, dinner reservations and special deals on hotel stays. A 2018 holiday guidebook will also be available for purchase on the website.