ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Commercials encouraging tourists to visit Alaska are appearing on broadcast television for the first time more than three decades.
Four ads promoting tourism in Alaska, including a first-ever commercial dedicated solely to winter travel, are being rotated during morning and evening news shows on ABC, NBC and CBS, said Kathy Dunn, the state's tourism marketing director.
"It's always exciting when you can get back and play in the big leagues like that," Dunn said.
Alaska routinely advertises on television, but it's been limited to cable networks. The state has spent about $6 million this year on advertising: $3.4 million on cable, $1.2 on national broadcasts and $1.4 million on syndicated programs.
The last time a state tourism ad was on national broadcast television was one commercial during the 1982 Super Bowl, a placement that cost the state $324,000 — or a third of that year's total tourism budget.
If an ad were to be placed during the broadcast of the next Super Bowl, it would cost $3.8 million, or a majority of the current budget, Dunn said.
The four ads now running will be rotated in two blocks, running over several months. The first rotation started in late September and will continue through Thanksgiving. The second rotation begins in January and will continue through March, but the winter ad will likely be pulled by mid-February.
The ads are not specific to any region of Alaska but prominently display mountains, glaciers and wildlife — features that research has shown are the big draws for visitors to the state.
"We want people to be intrigued by the bigness of the state and the diversity," Dunn said. "We're just trying to elevate interest in everything that Alaska has to offer."
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