Johnson Presents Writer’s Views for N.M. Tourism

A new campaign for the New Mexico Department of Tourism draws upon the work of writers and artists inspired by the state’s surreal beauty.

In one 60-second television spot from Rick Johnson & Co., British actor Duncan Wells reads a passage from The Posthumous Papers of D.H. Lawrence.

Shot in the Gila National Forest by agency creative director Scott Johnson, the camera follows a solitary figure as he traverses New Mexico’s varied landscape, pausing occasionally to write in his journal.

“The pine trees make little noise … and the place heaves with ghosts,” wrote Lawrence. “It is the ghosts one misses most … the ghosts there of the Rocky Mountains.”

“The interesting thing about the quotation is that it’s specific to New Mexico and to the spiritual aspect of the state,” said Johnson.

Research for the campaign revealed that visitors to New Mexico look for a spiritual connection that Johnson felt was supported by the artistic heritage of the area.

The ad’s tagline: “Put yourself in a state of enchantment.”

The spot broke this month on A&E. Print appears in magazines such as Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet and Oprah, as well as newspapers in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Portland, Ore.

The Albuquerque, N.M., shop is negotiating with writer Tony Hillerman and the estates of artist Georgia O’Keefe and photographer Ansel Adams to sample their works in future advertising.