Mayer Keeps It Real

Louisiana’s new tourism campaign extols the grass-roots reality of a direct experience.

“Research has shown that the number one reason people travel to Louisiana is to experience our culture, food, architecture, history, lifestyle and music,” said Dee Smith, creative director at Peter A. Mayer Advertising, which handles the $8 million account. “Our attractions are all real: Cajun country zydeco, the New Orleans jazz funerals and the country western hayride music from North Louisiana are all alive today.”

For the second year, Mayer focuses on the state’s music and continues the “Come as you are, leave different” tagline.

The campaign’s documentary slant dovetails with Ken Burns’ Jazz, which aired nationally this month. The TV series was partially sponsored by Louisiana Tourism.

“Instead of talking about music like we did last year, we made it into an event,” Smith said.

Morrison Productions shot three 30-second television commercials in which archival footage—of a jazz funeral, Mardi Gras revelers and other activities—is projected on to landmarks such as a New Orleans cemetery, French Quarter architecture and a Cajun fishing landing.

Instead of professional voice talent, Mayer used area musicians to narrate the television spots. The voiceovers are performed by jazzist Peter Baudie, zydeco’s Michael Doucet and country western singer Maggie Warwick.

Supported by print and radio, the spots will run on national cable outlets including CNN and the Travel and Weather Channels.