It’s different. And, it’s meant to be different.
The Nebraska Tourism Commission has unveiled a new campaign in its effort to entire tourists to the state.
State Tourism Director John Ricks hopes the campaign ads give Nebraska a unique voice it didn’t have before.
“I don’t know if it is really self-deprecating humor, but it’s certainly humorous,” Ricks tells Coby Mach, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The Tourism Commission describes the campaign in a news release as, “Nebraska may not be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit, but if you like experiences that are unpretentious and uncomplicated or if you enjoy escaping the big city life for moments of solitude in the open plains, creating your own fun or exploring the quirkiness the state has to offer, chances are, you will like it here.”
The commission unveiled the marketing campaign for the 2019 tourism season during the Nebraska Tourism Conference held in Nebraska City this year.
Research conducted by Brand Lever revealed few Americans think of Nebraska as a tourism destination. The new campaign hopes to change perceptions. Tests in key out-of-state markets indicates the new approach could work.
Ricks says the campaign needs to be disruptive to meet the challenges Nebraska faces. He says the new brand is defined by honesty.
“It’s directed at a specific type of person. It represents about 40% of the traveling public and we just had to do something to break through,” Ricks says.
Ricks says there simply are some things in Nebraska people like and some they don’t like.
“So, going after the whole barrel of fish and saying you’re for everybody is simply not true,” according to Ricks. “So, what we’ve done is we’ve identified an audience who is made up of people who are wanderers and tinkerers and they like to peel back the onion.”
The campaign will be featured in VisitNebraska.com, the official Nebraska Travel Guide and on social media using #HonestlyNE.
William Padmore contributed to this article.