DALLAS 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 humorous look at how some people view history and switches to the more fun approach the state takes on the subject.
In one spot, onlookers watch an 1800's battle re-enactment fall flat when the cannonball drops just two feet from the cannon. A jazz band then breaks into tune as a voiceover says, "There's a better way to celebrate history. Come to the Louisiana Purchase bicentennial." The ad continues with scenes of a plantation home, a group boating on a bayou and a re-enacted signing of the Louisiana Purchase. It closes with an offer for a free tour guide.
The bulk of the campaign for the state's Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism begins nationally today on cable networks including AMC and Discovery. A light rotation began last week, the shop said.
A print campaign breaks in March issues of travel and regional magazines.
The bicentennial's 600 events has prompted the agency to seek a wider audience this year for the tourism campaign, which traditionally targets those within a 300-mile driving distance of the state, said shop vp and creative director Dee Smith.
The creative team used 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 way we celebrate everything—with a party."