Tourism agency dives into "Blue" |

Tourism agency dives into "Blue"

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is delving deeper into the Blue World.

The tourism agency unanimously agreed Thursday in its board meeting to move forward with the bold, new campaign that builds the image of Tahoe on the color blue.

Its ad agency, Mering and Associates, delivered four concepts with photography taken from Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.

The Sacramento agency’s creative director, Greg Carson, said he wanted to submit “a rough snapshot” of the print portion of the campaign due for release in March.

The agency was also staged in Tahoe to film the television commercial a month ago.

Carson said Mering had much to choose from in the print campaign, narrowing the four “hero” shots from an original working group of 2,500.

One concept showed a woman immersing herself in the lake at waist high — its headline reading “The Blue World. Same Gravity. Radically different atmosphere.”

In another, two people in life vests frolic in the lake under the header: “Welcome to the Blue World. Principal industry: joy.”

The third concept reads: “You are now entering the blue world. Population: happy,” with a man jumping off a pier.

The fourth ad shows a group shot that says: “The Blue World. It’s an alternative. The alternative being happy.”

The LTVA is reviewing its alternatives in finding cooperative partners to share the expense of the image-building campaign, Executive Director Bill Chernock outlined.

The creative costs and media buys have been estimated to cost the agency — operating on a 2002-03 budget of $3.7 million — $300,000 and $2.1 million, respectively.

Mering has already started booking media space with print magazines such as “Travel and Leisure,” “Conde Naste Traveler” and “National Geographic Traveler.”

The agency has also started negotiating with companies such as American Express and Miller Brewing, which brand blue products.

The board and working group that established the campaign are eager to see the results of a long-term vision that targets the destination visitor — those who traditionally stay longer through the week.

“I’m comfortable with where this is. This is a pretty significant step. Ultimately, what we’ve ended up with is going a step away from what we’ve done in the last seven or eight years,” said Skip Sayre, Harrah’s vice president of marketing who participated in the promotional working group.

Sayre expressed that the emotional image the concepts evoke make the destination of Lake Tahoe more intriguing.

Sayre, who has sat on the Tahoe-Douglas Visitor Authority board, said the efforts leading up to the creation of the campaign serves as an “important way for LTVA and TDVA to allocate its resources.”

As far as other business relationships, the LTVA also approved the 2002-03 budget allocation of $131,000 to retain Weidinger Public Relations.

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