LOS ANGELES Independent M&C Saatchi has completed its first broadcast work for New Mexico Tourism, according the Huw Griffith, the agency's CEO.
"It's completely different for the category," said Griffith. "We needed to cut through and position it as a very different place."
All the elements of the campaign, which includes print and outdoor with the same theme, show reptilian aliens dressed as tourists and, for example, playing golf or visiting the desert. The print headline is, "The best place in the universe. New Mexico, Earth."
One spot ("Copier") features humorous banter between two aliens at a copy machine, where the female with dripping jowls talks about being taken to a New Mexico mountain retreat by her boyfriend, Rich. Her suspicious co-worker asks about her taking a "sick day" that week. The voiceover tag: "The word is out. New Mexico just might be the best place in the universe."
"Taking Care of You" shows a subordinate in an office trying to convince his sullen boss to take a vacation, telling him that the golf is good and handing him a brochure. "Listen to me, chief. Look at me," the subordinate says. "Use it, OK? You have to start taking care of you ... OK, captain. I'm going to grab a fish taco, you good?"
Griffith said the aliens were designed by Hollywood special-effects legend Stan Winston (Jurassic Park, Aliens), though the campaign has nothing to do with UFO sightings in a state connected with places such as Roswell Air Base and White Sands.
"That was far from our thinking," Griffith said. "We are simply articulating that people come from far and wide, therefore the juxtaposition of the aliens in normal situations."
The spots are being tested in California and Minnesota before the broader campaign breaks. "We're promoting New Mexico wider than in surrounding states," Griffith said.
M&C Saatchi won the account last year. The Santa Monica, Calif., shop also handles the San Diego Zoo, Ketel One and City National Bank.
Campaign spending was undisclosed.
The New Mexico Tourism department is headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M.