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April 19, 2014

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Sun Editorial:

Don’t fence us out

State’s new ad campaign misses the biggest part of Nevada

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Nevada’s Tourism Commission kicked off its new branding campaign for the state Tuesday, unveiling a slogan, revamped website and a commercial that will air next week in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Phoenix.

The slogan, which the campaign is based on, is a doozy:

“A world within. A state apart.”

Really? That’s Nevada?

Well, let’s not rush to judgment and say we just don’t get it. Give it a minute, let it sink in and ... let’s see: There’s a world of who-knows-what to explore within Nevada, and it’s a state apart from, um, Arizona? California? Reality?

Never mind. We’re lost.

That’s not good, especially considering the state has worked for nearly two years to create this and, including the cost of running the ads, will spend about $9 million. Yes, all that for: A world within. A state apart.

Sigh.

But the slogan is just the tip of the iceberg. The real crime of the branding campaign is that it minimizes, if not ignores, Las Vegas.

Go to the website — travelnevada.com — and you’ll have to work to find anything about Southern Nevada. The front page features a cowboy with a lasso and pictures of Lamoille Canyon (look it up), Ely and Tonopah. Judging by the layout on the “to do” part of the website, tourists are apparently more interested in information about the Galena Creek bridge, the Goldfield courthouse and the Lovelock depot, among other hotspots, than in anything to do in Las Vegas.

And the commercial goes out of its way to ignore Las Vegas. It features the home-grown band the Killers singing the old western song “Don’t Fence Me In” and a montage of clips of outdoor activities — oh, and a fleeting cameo of a man at a craps table.

There are no images of the Strip, the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead or McCarran International Airport. Nor are there any images of the Bellagio’s fountains or the Luxor’s light that can be seen from space. Also missing was any representation of the world-class entertainment here. Wayne Newton, Mr. Las Vegas, anyone? Cirque du Soleil? Penn and Teller? Showgirls?

Yet, state officials praised the slogan and the campaign. Gov. Brian Sandoval said it “captures Nevada’s DNA” despite its missing part.

Looking at what’s been rolled out, the state Tourism Commission sees the world within Nevada as a state apart from Las Vegas.

It makes Nevada look like Wyoming or Montana: wide open spaces; long, empty roads — and not much else.

That’s not to criticize any efforts to market the rural and scenic areas of the state; they should be promoted as part of a statewide effort. But that can’t be done without promoting Las Vegas, as well.

Beyond a smart slogan, the campaign is missing a unique part of Nevada: the symbiotic relationship between urban and rural. Many of the tourists who come to enjoy outdoor activities come to the city before and after. They buy supplies, take in a show, savor a fine meal and enjoy the pampering the resorts offer.

Perhaps this is just a start of Nevada’s campaign and there’s more to come that will put this in perspective, but state officials need to understand that Las Vegas is Nevada. Southern Nevada is an international destination, with more than 37 million visitors last year. It is the driver of the state’s economy and home to 75 percent of the population.

Perhaps there’s an argument to be made that Las Vegas does such a good job promoting itself that it doesn’t need any other help, but if that’s the case, then don’t brand this as a “Nevada” campaign because without Las Vegas, it’s not Nevada.

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  1. Well, well. Follow the recent political appointments of Republicans in Northern Nevada by Governor Sandoval,and you will understand WHY they left out Las Vegas: those particular folks rather split Nevada, North far away from the South (even willing to "give" Southern Nevada to California!).

    Yep, their contempt and long-time animosity definitely shows here!

    Those who are involved with this, "Nevada: A world within. A state apart," campaign, are hell-bent for election politically, to fight for their purest point of view, of making Northern Nevada absolutely separate from the South, in every way, shape, and form. This well may include the political fight of many years now, for keeping their WATER!

    Just to add a little intrique, let's factor MINING's hold and interest in Northern Nevada (how dare those Southern Nevadans demand MINING "pay its fair share" to all of Nevada State and its People!!! Lately, MINING has been under fire for lack of audits, abuse of exemptions, and political control of nearly every Lawmaker in the state. But Southern Nevada is suffering from lack of adequate funding of its infrastructure, because of its subsidizing Northern Nevada for countless years.

    To these folks, Las Vegas, Clark County, er, Southern Nevada, is typically used in conjunction with a curse word in conversation. Pure, unbonified hatred continues to fester in the Northern Nevada population, unchanged for generations.

    So, Governor Sandoval appointed several of his Republican allies to hold judgeships and offices as showing some political gratitude for support. Just page through White Pine County's recent changes and see for yourself. Perhaps, this "Nevada: A world within. A state apart," is more telling of how our Governor really feels about Southern Nevada. We shall see....

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  2. Catchy slogans don't convince people to come. It's economics. Bang for the buck [no pun intended]. Las Vegas already has the star and wow appeal and has for many years with both Americans and foreigners. Travel deals make people come, stay and return and then pass the word along to others to do the same.

    Carmine D

  3. Like good Republican versus Democrats, The Republicans (Southern Nevada) pay for everything the Democrats (Northern Nevada) want and without any "thanks"

  4. Mr. Anthony,

    You might want to research your post.

    Clark county has the highest number of Democrats than the rest of the state combined.

    The north tends to lean GOP.

    Clark county would make a great State of So. Nevada.

  5. "Nevada: Come and see the holes where Canadians dig out our GOLD"