Another case of a New York idea the rest of the world steals.
Governor Cuomo announced a new $5 million tourism campaign this week to reclaim the iconic "I (Heart) New York" logo which, originally created by Milton Glaser in 1970, is considered one of the greatest successes in advertising history.
“You still have the icon but you have to bring it back to New York,” Cuomo explained, according to The New York Daily News. “You have to reimagine, you have to reenergize it.”
In the new ads, created by the state's ad agency, BBDO, people are asked to replace the "heart" with a drawing of what they love the most about the Empire State. Predictably, the drawings feature New York vacation hotspots like the Adirondacks and Niagara Falls, and show activities like fishing and drinking wine.
According to David Lubars, the chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO North America, the original logo “has been co-opted by literally the rest of the world.”
“If you go to Russia, if you go to Spain, you see ‘I heart something,’ and it’s lost its New York cachet," he said. "My team’s assignment was to bring new cachet back to that logo and make it mean something important.”
Brian Sheehan, an advertising professor at Syracuse University, is skeptical of the campaign. “You should mess with an icon at your own risk,” he told The Daily News, recalling the infamous "New Coke" campaign.
And who are are the ads targeting? From the press release:
The ads, focusing on summer tourism destinations, will air for seven weeks and are targeted to tourists within a five to six hour driving range which includes the following markets: Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, New York, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, Burlington-Plattsburgh, Cleveland, Hartford-New Haven, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Montreal.
According to Cuomo, tourism brings $53 billion worth of business to New York and supports almost 500,000 jobs.
Last year, 50 million tourists came to New York City alone.
Check out the ads: