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Maine, Vermont Take Scenic Route

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Maine and Vermont seek to position themselves as the choice for fall vacationers in separate campaigns from Swardlick Marketing Group and Paul Kaza Associates, respectively.

Some experts estimate that the New England region has lost more than $1 billion in revenue since last September's terrorist attacks placed a chill on many vacationers' travel plans. The Maine Office of Tourism and The Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing each stress natural beauty, safety and serenity in their autumn campaigns.

Maine's advertising seeks to convey "what a warm, welcoming and safe destination Maine is," according to David Swardlick, president of the Portland, Maine-based agency that fashioned the work.

One 60-second TV spot, which broke last week, opens with footage of lush mountains, a frolicking moose and white-water rafting. "Come discover Maine this fall with wonders to explore and surprises to savor," a voiceover says. "We call it the Maine attraction. From our legendary rock-bound coast to our historic towns and villages—you'll find something different, something colorful, something unexpected in Maine."

The effort positions Maine as a "must-see tourist location," said Swardlick. "We wanted to make sure people understand how much there is to see and do here," he added. The work retains the tagline, "Discover the Maine attraction." The spot is running nationally on the Travel Channel, Lifetime and the Weather Channel. Print ads will appear in Yankee magazine.

Burlington, Vt.-based Paul Kaza Associates is set to break a print and radio campaign this week featuring the tagline, "Fall. It's our season."

One execution shows a man standing atop a mountain, his dog by his side. Copy reads, "Stand perfectly still … and be moved." Another ad shows a photograph taken from high above some mountains, with foliage in the foreground. "Life, like all journeys, has its high points," reads the copy.

"Our goal has been to assert Vermont as the premier fall destination," said shop president Paul Kaza. Print will run in Yankee, Martha Stewart Living, The New Yorker and Boston Magazine.

Both Maine and Vermont target empty-nesters and families, who are apt to travel in their cars for a weekend. Spending for each campaign is expected to be in the six-figure range.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism—with its agency, Boston's CGN Marketing & Creative Services—is launching a value-driven promotion that offers deals and travel packages with participating hotels, restaurants and other tourist destinations [Adweek, July 22]. A more extensive broadcast and print effort will break in November.