The Killers help breathe life into state’s marketing efforts
Nevada’s “A world within, a state apart” slogan may have bombed publicly, but some tourism commissioners think the Killers killed it with the Las Vegas band’s rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In” in a television ad, and now the state may look to expand use of the song.
A marketing committee meeting of the Tourism Commission today recommended broadening the use of the 1934 Cole Porter-Robert Fletcher western song that is performed by the Killers in an up-tempo rock style.
“‘Don’t Fence Me In,’ to me, is a lot more powerful than ‘A world within, a state apart,’” said Commissioner Christopher Baum, the president and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. “We need to make it more prominent.”
The Tourism Commission unveiled the six-word state slogan in April.
While the commission staff was enthused with the slogan and said it provided the foundation for promoting economic development as well as tourism, critics panned the slogan, calling it confusing and meaningless.
Critics also ripped the cost of the slogan’s development and the fact that out-of-state vendors were hired to create it.
Over three years, the state contracted with two companies to conduct research for brand development, spending a total of $8.5 million. Currently, the state is in the middle of a two-year $3.2 million contract with New York-based Burson-Marsteller, which was directed to develop marketing and advertising incorporating the song.
The television ad spotlighting the state as a summer destination included the song as a backdrop to people singing along while participating in summertime activities. Commissioners envision a similar winter ad with winter activities.
The state’s agreement with the Killers allows it to use the song through April, but an agreement with the band could renew use for a longer term.
But commissioners also said they want visual images that are uniquely Nevada.
“You don’t see a lake like Lake Tahoe when you’re skiing in Colorado,” Baum said.
Commissioners also pointed out that winter scenes don’t always mean snowy landscapes.
“To people in Chicago, Las Vegas looks pretty good in the winter,” said Commissioner Don Newman.
In an interview following the meeting, Tourism Commission Director Claudia Vecchio said she doesn’t see “Don’t Fence Me In” supplanting “A world within, a state apart.”
“That remains the brand and it lays the foundation for how we create a campaign around it,” Vecchio said. “I think ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ showcases the exuberance and experience of being in Nevada. It’s flexible and other campaigns can be built around it for economic development as well as tourism.”
When the brand debuted in April, Vecchio and Gov. Brian Sandoval said they envisioned “A world within, a state apart” appearing on the state’s letterhead stationary and on state business cards. So far, that hasn’t happened.
“It’s a part of brand integration that will happen later this year,” Vecchio said. “We’re working on it. Stay tuned.”