Connecticut Ramping Up Tourism Efforts

BOSTON Vacation time means state tourism activity, as Connecticut prepares to launch its latest campaign and Mystic Seaport has chosen a new agency for the first time in several years.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism still pushes the state as “Full of Surprises” in its 2003 ad campaign. A $4 million multimedia push, via McLaughlin, Delvecchio & Casey in New Haven, Conn., highlights 52 getaways for those seeking overnight stays within driving distance to home.

The “Surprise” theme was launched by longtime agency O’Neal & Prelle, which closed in 2000. MD&C picked up the business in 2001.

Two 30-second TV spots will begin running next month on greater New York network affiliates; both feature visitors enjoying activities such as inner tubing, biking, kayaking and dancing on a riverboat.

In addition, print ads are running through June in magazines such as New York and Travel & Leisure. One ad features a family tubing on the Farmington River. “Down the river. Just up the road” reads the copy. Another shows a couple relaxing on the rocky shores of Lake Waramaug in New Preston, Conn. Copy reads, “It’s not how far you go. It’s how it feels.” Both encourage readers to visit the office’s Web site, www.ctbound.org, and order a free vacation guide online.

The print ads follow a 12-page freestanding insert distributed to 1.5 million households through newspapers such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe.

MD&C will support the ad campaign with direct, interactive and in-state public relations work. Lou Hammond & Associates in New York will oversee national public relations.

Separately, the Mystic Seaport Museum has selected The Link Agency for marketing chores. The 15-person Providence, R.I., shop, which was selected without a formal review, is charged with public relations and broadcast advertising around the launch of the museum’s Sea Dogs interactive exhibit. The attraction highlights the role of dogs in various rescue missions from World War II to the present.