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Double Takes for Texas

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DALLAS-GSD&M today breaks a $10 million tourism campaign for Texas that aims to make tourists think twice about what they will find in the Lone Star State.
The effort is led by three 30-second television ads that begin airing today on national cable networks including CNN, The Family Channel, TNN, CMT, The Travel Channel and The Discovery Channel. The work retains the long-running tagline, "Texas. It's like a whole other country." GSD&M in Austin, Texas, has handled the tourism account since 1989.
Each TV spot features quick-cut shots of apparently exotic or big city locales that are later revealed to be part of the Texas landscape. "Our goal is to change the perceptions of Texas as being a hot, dry and dusty place with no big cities," said Tracye McDaniel, director of tourism for the Texas Department of Economic Development.
One spot opens on what appears to be an African savannah until an armadillo finds its way into the frame and a voiceover notes that the setting could only be Texas. Another commercial shows a woman swimming onto what looks like a tropical beach until she notices cowboy boot prints in the sand. Each spot includes an 800 number for travel information.
The ads will air in additional spot markets including Little Rock, Ark., Albuquerque, N.M., New Orleans and Oklahoma City next spring. McDaniel said GSD&M's work helps generate more than one million calls for travel information annually.
A four-ad print series begins in February and will run throughout 1998 in 45 consumer titles, including Life, National Geographic Traveler and Southern Living.