New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation wants people across America to know that the city is open for tourism to anyone and everyone, especially the LGBTQ community. That’s not reserved to Mardi Gras either, the city is open to all, year round.
“It really started with the passion that 360i brought to us because they formulated the idea knowing that the LGBTQ is a very important market and is one of our main platforms for our annual marketing plan,” Mark Romig, president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Corporation, said.
The tourism organization teamed up with its agency of record 360i for the “Always Open” campaign, which brought volunteers from all over the city together to film the spot.
In the ad, a parade kicks off, similar to one visitors would typically see this time of year for Mardi Gras. Suddenly, as the drums continue to beat ever so slowly, everyone participating in the parade begins to walk backwards and disappears.
The idea, as people take off pieces of their festive outfits, is to “show where the world will go if we don’t accept people as they are,” according to the ad.
The tourism group shot the entire ad with volunteers from the city who all willingly joined the project to spread New Orleans’ important message of acceptance.
“We knew going into this that this could be a rather expensive production. We would obviously be happy to pay any expense, but people were willing to donate their time. The day of the shoot it was like the crowd was doubling and tripling in size when they saw what we were doing on that strip of Bourbon Street,” Romig added.