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A Vacation with a Northern Leopard Frog

The State of Vermont is running radio advertising featuring a child and his discovery of a Northern Leopard Frog while on vacation.  The State of Maine in television advertising is promising a Moose sighting and Massachusetts has colonial era people and roller coasters.  New Hampshire has what Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts has, only it is in New Hampshire so it is better.

Each State is bombarding us with promises of "Discover blah blah in the State of Blah" or "Find Yourself This summer is the State of Blah."  Maine has a television spot with a guy sleeping next to a lobster ("dreaming of lobster"), all have pictures of hiking trails, beaches and every other cliche vacation idea.

It's advertising designed to appeal to everyone, yet appeals to no one.    My bet is advertising for State tourism needs to appeal to all the travel constituencies.  The hiking trails people get upset if the Ski lifts get more air time and the beaches compete with the historical villages.

The problem is that none of it works.  I think the Northeast travel industry has lost all sense of how to create messaging that differentiates.  There is no such thing as generic experiences.  Vacation time is precious and the place to spend that time has to be unique.  Hiking trails need to be the best.  Prove it to me.  Create a badge of honor that only the best hikers can achieve.  Feature a famous hiker in the advertising.  Showcase a top ski trail.  Move from generic to specific.  From average to exciting.  To experiences I can get everywhere, to those that I can't get anywhere.

Someone will figure it out.  Now I have to go.....and pack.

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