'Bama: Quirks and All


Some say the best thing to come out of Alabama is Interstate 20, but the new tag for the state's Bureau of Tourism and Travel suggests otherwise. "Alabama. Now this you've gotta see!" touts specific historic, scenic and cultural destinations.

Created by Lewis Communications in Birmingham, Ala., the $3.5 million campaign broke last week on radio and regional cable including A&E, CNN and TBS, as well as early morning spots on NBC and Fox.

Print efforts include inserts in newspapers in the Southeast and Midwest, plus ads in Southern Living, Good Housekeeping and regional editions of certain magazines.

Six print ads focus on the civil rights trail through Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, attractions on the Gulf Coast and a Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course.

TV spots show individuals experiencing zero gravity at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Hunts-ville, solitude on the beaches and families hiking in state parks.

"Past campaigns have tried to en-compass every attraction in the state all in one ad," said Lewis account supervisor Carlton Wood. "Our approach was to focus on the familiar and then introduce some lesser known spots."

The latter include the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, offbeat museums and the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Boaz, where the contents of lost luggage are sold. "These are places that change the perception that visitors have about Alabama," said Wood.