Pennsylvania launched a new tourism campaign Tuesday that harkens back to its colonial roots.
“Pennsylvania. Pursue Your Happiness," is the state's new slogan.
The words wring of the well-known phrase in the Declaration of Independence that declares all human beings’ unalienable rights, and it won by a landslide in a recent multi-state contest.
“The tourism office has been working closely to create a dynamic and inspirational brand campaign that captures the strength of Pennsylvania’s diverse tourism products. We wanted a brand that could really embrace the unique spirit of Pennsylvania, and our new brand and tagline is really a bold declaration for travelers to pursue your happiness,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary for marketing, tourism and film for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Lepore said that Tuesday’s announcement was the culmination of more than a year’s time spent on meetings with tourism industry stakeholders, consumer testing of people from nine different states, focus groups, and consultations with a Pittsburgh advertising firm.
Lepore said the new ad campaign was actually the brainchild of the state's previous administration, under then-Gov. Tom Corbett. At the time, Pennsylvania’s slogan was “the state of independence,” and the Keystone State had been experiencing a decline in tourism and the industry decided to make a change.
“We’re, of course, very happy that it ties in with where America began,” said Meryl Levitz, CEO of Visit Philadelphia.
“We’ve found that the slogan that works best are the slogans that tell people what to do. Telling you to pursue your happiness – and it’s also an active word."
Sources say about $200,000 in public and private money was spent on the whole initiative.
“Happiness is our keystone,” Lepore added.
Within the next few days, weeks and months, the new look will appear on ads, online, on social media, in travel guides on on billboards.
According to state statistics, travel is roughly a $40 billion industry in Pennsylvania, employing about 450,000 people. In 2013, 193 million visitors traveled to Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit visitpa.com to see the brand in use.