Connecticut is looking to its past to ignite the state's tourism industry.
"Still Revolutionary" will be the centerpiece of a new branding campaign unveiled by Gov. Dannel Malloy Monday. It is part of a two-year, $27 million marketing initiative. The campaign will include TV and radio commercials as well as print and digital advertising.
"While neighboring states have engaged in vigorous campaigns to attract tourism dollars, Connecticut has languished, and as a result, we were literally taken off the tourism map," Malloy said. "Still Revolutionary speaks to Connecticut's deep roots in the founding of this country and reminds us that we still have that independent, revolutionary spirit."
A two-minute commercial posted to YouTube shows sweeping images of Connecticut, along with a song entitled "Better With You." The song was commissioned exclusively for the "Still Revolutionary" campaign and is sung by UConn student, Dinelle Glaze, accompanied by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
State economic officials said they received a lot of feedback while developing the initiative.
"We conducted extensive research, set a strategic vision, reviewed and tested each potential creative direction and gave our most important consumers - our residents - a chance to weigh in," said Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Connecticut's tourism industry generates about $11.5 billion in spending and $1.15 billion in state and local taxes, according to 2011 statistics. Nearly 111,000 people are employed in tourism-related jobs in Connecticut.
"For centuries we have been the home of literary greats, innovators and natural wonders - an incredibly diverse array of products and talent, all right here in Connecticut," Malloy said. We are a beautiful state, and we are very proud of our history, even as we look toward our future. It's time we did a better job of telling that story."