June 8, 2011
New Jersey Tourism Should Take a Page from Colonial Williamsburg and Michigan

I have become everything I swore I would never be. I have made fun of my friends and family whose children watched TV in the car; I believed there was no such thing as big jeans; and I vowed I would never sound like my mother, ever. And, yes, I have been known to drive a minivan. Now there are those who have an occasional chuckle at my expense…

One of the things I have also laughed at was why do States advertise tourism? I do not get it. Do people not have a plan on what they should be doing with themselves and their families, and where and when? However, recently, with the demands of running one company and starting a second while my children , have rocketed in to their own mini social eco-systems, I find comfort in the ideas that come across the morning cable news and radio of where to go and what to do.

Michigan has been out in front for a long time and has creatively been making great strides in its presentation. Williamsburg has also been great at promoting summer tourism through a really well written and multi pronged approach. Both destinations struck me as equally impressive.

On the other hand, for my native New Jersey, the campaign is horrible. It makes no sense. The ads and creative have no call to action and lack any excitement what so ever. The website, as well as the paid and search engine optimization are equally non-engaging and unmotivating.

It’s hard to believe with all the amazing creative talent we have in this state, New Jersey chooses a stuffy, boring and lackluster campaign to drive tourism.

Monica C Smith
Chief Marketsmith

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