Harris Healing Utah’s Battered Image

Still reeling from the Olympic bribery scandal that has marred its reputation, the state of Utah is getting some positive image work courtesy of Harris & Love Advertising and Public Relations. Billings are under $1 million.
The print campaign, for the Utah Travel Council, avoids any direct mention of the scandal. The agency instead used the results of an account planning study of potential visitors to craft ads that stress the emotional benefits of vacations and use photographs that portray the “special moments” shared by those who visit Utah.
In one ad, a man fishes on a raft in the middle of a serene lake, under a pastel sky. The peacefulness is emphasized by the headline: “Somewhere, people are wading through six lanes of gridlock.”
All of the ads stress that Utah is a place to visit any time of the year, not just during the winter. The photographs are enclosed in a border with copy designed to look like entries in a daily journal.
Another ad includes a picture of a hiker in full gear scaling a sandstone arch formation. Copy reads, “Today I discovered that carrying a 30-pound pack can remove the weight of the world.”
“This is what people are going to see when they come here,” said Preston Wood, vice president/senior art director at Harris & Love.
The Salt Lake City shop has handled the Utah Travel Council’s ad account for over 20 years. Earlier campaigns also focused on rejuvenation and connecting with people, but the look is different this year, Wood said. Last year’s work, for instance, did not include borders with copy around the images.
“This year’s campaign is a little more crafted in the art direction,” Wood said.
The campaign, which runs through the summer, consists of full-page and double-truck ads that will appear in national publications such as Architectural Digest, Gourmet and Travel Holiday.