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Larger-Than-Life New Orleans Plays Broadway

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DALLAS Trumpet Advertising is promoting New Orleans in a big way in Times Square this holiday season.

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau has not bought billboard space in a major city in years, but this year it contracted a display measuring 70 feet by 15 feet that wraps around the 1600 Broadway building on 7th Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets. The sign, which went up last week, will run through January.

"We told [Trumpet] we needed something during the busiest time in New York that would be eye-catching and plant the seed of [going to] New Orleans," said Kim Priez, vice president of tourism for the bureau.

New Orleans-based Trumpet, which was hired for the single assignment, came back with an image that varied dramatically from what the city typically promotes—its jazz and riverboats. The current concept, set in cool blue, was designed to look like a historic French Quarter balcony with ornate railings. It was created to promote the city's cultural legacy, the shop said.

On one end are three women dancing in a circle, who have a spiritual connotation, Priez said. On the right is a single woman, who Trumpet creative director Robbie Vitrano said "speaks to the timeless nature of New Orleans as a place of creative inspiration, inviting others to partake."

The billboard has the words "Follow your soul to New Orleans" and gives the Web site address of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Priez said the effort is intended to attract visitors who have the Crescent City on a "shortlist" of places they would like to visit. "We wanted people to make a decision to come, move us from maybe fifth to first," she said, adding that New York is the city's third-largest market for tourism.