NEW ORLEANS - Montgomery Stire & Partners here kicked off the $2.5 million New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.'s summer advertising campaign last week.
The campaign in-cludes three 60-second television spots. The commercials will run through mid-August in 17 regional markets encompassing cities such as Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
The ads - which continue to use the five-year-old "Come join the parade" tagline - will air on nine national cable networks including Black Entertainment Television and The Weather Channel. A trio of print ads will appear in 29 cities.
The television and print ads are built around three music genres - rhythm and blues, gospel, and jazz - and target different audiences.
The rhythm and blues television spot features Blood Sweat & Tears' Luther Kent. The other commercials feature jazz musician Germaine Bazzle and gospel singer Barbara Short.
New Orleans' an-nual summer adver-tising campaign has become its major marketing push. Its mission is to attract more visitors to local hotels in the nonconvention season. The city's hotel occupancy rate is among the highest nationwide during peak convention periods.
"We have a 16-week window of opportunity during the summer months when we've got to drive business aggressively," agency principal Frank Stire said. "The ads are a call to action to get people to come here now. We are much more aggressive for this campaign."
The shop also created a new logo for the city this year, which features dancing letters in the TV spots.