ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Say goodbye to "More to Explore." Minnesota tourism promoters ushered in a new slogan Thursday that focuses on "Only in Minnesota" experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign.
The revamped message kicks off a major push to get vacationers to spend their time and dollars in Minnesota. Lawmakers significantly boosted the state's tourism promotion budget. New television ads make up $3.7 million of the effort and run through June. They're paired with billboards and a heavy emphasis on social media geared at a younger audience.
Four fast-paced TV ads play up characteristically Minnesota getaways. There are ample nods to outdoorsy destinations and fine dining. Images of art museums, cityscapes and recognizable landmarks such as the Spam Museum and Red Wing's oversized boot are included. "It's modern. It's classic. It's totally you. And it's only in Minnesota," the narrator in one ad says.
Gov. Mark Dayton, who ran the state's economic development department in the 1970s when it first embarked on tourism promotion, endorsed the new theme during a news conference showing off the main television spot.
"We do have such extraordinary features here, opportunities here, vacations here and you can find them only in Minnesota," Dayton said.
The ads will run in 14 states and Canadian provinces. Six states are new to Minnesota outreach efforts. They are Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming.
At the Mall of America, one of Minnesota's most popular attractions, executives are expecting the campaign to bolster promotional efforts that already make it a global destination.
"Marketing is about staying in front of people — reminding them that you are here, reminding them that you are cool," the mall's executive vice president Maureen Baush said.