Archive for Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kansas hits big screen in N.Y.

Ad promoting state will be broadcast in Times Square

June 20, 2006


— Kansas officials are hoping New Yorkers won't fagetaboutit.

Starting Thursday, the state, at a cost of $40,000, will have a 30-second commercial promoting Kansas on the CBS Super Screen in New York City's Times Square.

"Clearly, we are about to announce our state in a big way," Commerce Secretary Howard Fricke said.

The ad, produced by a Topeka company and shot in the area with local talent, is supposed to conjure an image of Kansas as sophisticated without the hassle of urban life.

"This commercial shows Kansas as having the best of both worlds," said Caleb Asher, the director of marketing and communications for the Kansas Department of Commerce.

A woman works on a computer while sitting on a dock in front of a farmhouse; a businessman wearing a suit rides his bicycle to work over a rustic bridge; musicians and a dancer perform on the prairie; and a family gazes into the stars of an inky, rural sky.

A new advertising campaign for Kansas shows the best of both worlds, as a woman employs the technology of computers in the rustic setting of a quiet farm. The new ad will run nearly 1,000 times in the next couple of weeks on a giant screen in New York's Times Square.

A new advertising campaign for Kansas shows the best of both worlds, as a woman employs the technology of computers in the rustic setting of a quiet farm. The new ad will run nearly 1,000 times in the next couple of weeks on a giant screen in New York's Times Square.

"This, to me, is about planting a positive seed about the state," Asher said.

He said he hoped the ad will dispel some of the negative news that has come out of Kansas in recent months, citing the BTK serial murders, the political fight over evolution and military funeral picketing by a Kansas church family.

The ad, put together by Gizmo Pictures of Topeka, will run three times an hour, 18 hours per day for 18 days on the 26-foot-tall CBS Super Screen in Times Square during the network's coverage of the World Cup Soccer Tournament. Officials said 1.5 million people pass through Times Square each day.

Gizmo's president Jeff Carson said the Commerce agency gave the company eight days' notice to put the ad together.

He said it took about six hours of shooting on the Kanza Prairie near Manhattan, Gage Park in Topeka and a small lake north of the city.


Advertisement for the new Kansas Department of Commerce's campaign. Enlarge video

"The planets kind of aligned," Carson said.

The promotion is part of the state's image-boosting drive launched last year as "Kansas: As big as you think."

Callahan Creek, a Lawrence public relations and advertising company, is still involved in that campaign but was not part of creating the Times Square spot, officials said.

Commerce had been running commercials on United Airlines flights in March between New York and the West Coast. A representative for the company booking time for the Super Screen saw the in-flight ad and contacted the state about whether it would be interested in putting up a spot in Times Square.

It all came together quickly, Asher said, and the state got a great deal.


HateTheYankees 10 years ago

Um, isn't every World Cup game on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2? As far as I know, no game is on CBS. Is the story wrong, or did the Department of Commerce make a huge blunder?

Jayhawk226 10 years ago

I'm still confused of the overall goal this advertisement is set to serve:

  1. To come and visit Kansas for a getaway, "without the hustle of the city"


  1. Clean-up negative images of the state

New Yorkers already have upstate NY and the Hamptons for their getaways. As for the tourists strolling through NYC in Times Square, something tells me they chose an exciting push-pull dominant city to visit for a reason. What's their next destination? Probably not a quiet lake with Sunflower Cablevision-powered wireless Internet access.

The advertisement should be centered around local push-pull cities, within driving distance and closer proximity--Chicago, Dallas and Denver.

If this advertisement is set to clear up negative perceptions of the state...a 30-second advertisement just doesn't do it. Many states truly are beautiful, but others' perceptions and opinions (ignorant as they may be) are already engrained; it's a non-factor how "pretty and calm" a state is. If a state and its people are seen as fools, idiots, backwards, non-educated and archaic, no advertisement in the world will change a thing.

But, I do give state officials high marks for actually thinking-outside-of-the-box. We need more progressive and non-traditional brainstorming going on. This is a start, and an experiment.

And frankly, though many may find this ad campaign a fleecing of Kansas constituents....$40,000 in Times Square isn't that bad at all!

Jayhawk226 10 years ago

HateTheYankees-- I believe all the games are on the ABC and sister-station ESPN networks.

Yesterday's story, I think, stated ABC's Super Screen was the one to be used.

We'll need clarification. Good eye!

Jayhawk226 10 years ago

The article made reference to a 90-spot commerical featured in westbound United Airlines flights.

According to the Kansas Travel and Tourism Division website, "The 90-second video features beautiful shots of the Kansas landscape, famous Kansans, prominent Kansas businesses, and places to simply have some fun. This video is the latest component of the Department's "Kansas, as big as you think" brand image campaign. Since its inception in early 2005, the award-winning campaign has utilized a variety of media to market Kansas as a great place to live, work, and travel."

I did check out the actual advertisement from the United flights and it's pretty good. They did a great job marketing to those with a historical interest, but do wish they had captured more "family-oriented, fun-to-do things that Kansas can offer."

If you're interested in checking out the United Airlines commerical ad featured this past March, click the link below.

Centrist 10 years ago

Like that's what we need ... rude, cranky up-themselves New Yorkers coming out here and complaining that there's "nothing to do" ...

hobb2264 10 years ago

I agree with you may not do much for an outsiders opinion of Kansas, but nearly 1000 spots at $40k seems to be a steal...especially for NYC.

Kornphlake 10 years ago

If Kansas was so desperate for tourism then why did they turn Wakurusa into an arrest-fest. Way to make the outside world think that we aren't backwood hicks who are afraid of outsiders comming to town.

classclown 10 years ago

"The article made reference to a 90-spot commerical featured in westbound United Airlines flights."

Why show it to people already on a flight to somewhere else? Why not target people before they're already travelling? I't not like they can pull a cord and yell "Hey pilot! I want to get off in Kansas instead!".

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

Our legislature and State school board over shadow most efforts. I'm a bit puzzled why New York City bargain or not?

If the state is serious about attracting new high paying industry becoming the first state to offer universal health coverage might be the carrot stick. Then we would not need to advertise our state as the news media would it for us.

bluedog 10 years ago

I posted on this yesterday, (and I totally agree with Jayhawk226) but if they are focusing on tourism, with gas prices the way they are why didn't they advertise in surrounding states? I see commercials for Missouri, Texas and even Louisana on TV.

Wasn't Callahan Creek the advertising agency who came up with "Kansas as Big as you think"?

Kookamooka 10 years ago

I want to know who the choir is. Did they use the Lawrence Children's Choir?

I hate the new tag line but....this video is really rather good!

I love the tempo and the appeal of our expansive environment. The fact that we have vista's and big sky. Ad Astra per Aspera! The stars at the end. THATS GOOD STUFF.

I hope the Kansans in New York CRY when they see it because they miss us so much!!

fundamental 10 years ago

Good call Kook. I'll bet it makes people wish they had stayed in Kansas all along instead of chasing foolish dreams to the big city. Kansas isn't so bad, is it? And New York isnt' so great is it? All in all, I'd say it's about a wash. It's a heckuva lot cheaper to live hear than it is there, that's for sure!

Bob Forer 10 years ago

What a joke. Does anyone really believe that sophisticated easterners will travel to Kansas because they saw a "Madison Avenue-type" ad in Times Square. Nonsense.

big_blue 10 years ago

kornphlake hits the nail on the head:

"If Kansas was so desperate for tourism then why did they turn Wakurusa into an arrest-fest?"

Godot 10 years ago

Something tells me this has as much to do with presidential politics as it does tourism.

Kookamooka 10 years ago

Oh yeah....Brownback. I forgot all about that one.

Godot 10 years ago

Not hardly. He has no control over the Kansas tourism budget. This will help the gov get her next job.

Wilbur_Nether 10 years ago

No fleecing of the taxpayers here. Read the State's budget: much of Commerce's money comes from your lottery tickets. $40K is indeed a steal for this level of exposure in the Big Apple--and it seems to me that targeting people who you know travel on airplanes and targeting tourists in Times Square makes sense. Sure, maybe they're already on vacation. But since they are already known to have disposable income, why not ask them to dispose of it here? The more they pay hotel taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes in Kansas the lower my contribution to the State gov't has to be. The Brownback link isn't making sense to me--where does he come into play?

ForThePeople 10 years ago

Face it folks, Kansas REALLY has nothing to offer as a tourist destination.....though it IS, for the most part a great place to set down roots!

Wilbur_Nether 10 years ago

Oh, well, in that case, there it is, then. Once again, intelligent reposte has overtaken any attempt made at dialogue.

Godot 10 years ago

wilburnether wrote: "The Brownback link isn't making sense to me--where does he come into play?"

There is none. But there is a Sebelius link. You know, Sebelius, the future vice-president. Can't have a VP that comes from a state that the New Yorkers view as the Afghanistan of the MidWest, now, can we?

Nonsense 10 years ago

So only $40k to post a "Kansas as bigoted as you think" advertisement?, hmmm....

klmammo 10 years ago

To Kornphlake ("If Kansas was so desperate for tourism then why did they turn Wakurusa into an arrest-fest?")- Because the tourists we want in Kansas aren't the junkies and crackheads who came to this concert. The only ones who turned it into an 'arrest-fest' were the losers who brought that junk. I'm glad a message was sent during this event- leave that s#!t out of our state!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.