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Mayer Enlivens Louisiana History

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Peter A. Mayer Advertising portrays the fun side of history in a $1 million Louisiana tourism campaign promoting the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase.

Each of the three 30-second television spots begins with a look at how some people view history, then switches to the state'splayful takes on thesubject.

In one spot, on-lookers watch an 1800's battle re-enactment fall flat when the cannonball drops just two feet from the cannon. As a jazz band begins playing, a voiceover says, "There's a better way to celebrate history. Come to the Louisiana Purchase bicentennial." The ad continues with a series of historic scenes before closing with an offer for a free tour guide.

The bulk of the campaign for the state's Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism breaks nationally today on AMC, Discovery and other cable channels. A light rotation began last week, the shop said.

A print effort bows in March issues of travel and regional magazines.

The bicentennial's 600 events have prompted Mayer to expand the reachof the campaign, which traditionally targets people within a 300-mile driving distance of the state, said Dee Smith, vice president and creative director at the New Orleans agency.

The creative team employed humor to show "history doesn't have to be boring," Smith said. "We wanted people to see when we celebrate history, we celebrate it the waywe celebrate everything