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April 13. 2012 2:44AM

Tourism office unveils new slogan


New Hampshire businesses and groups participate in a trade show during the 2012 Governor's Conference on Tourism, produced by the New Hampshire Travel Council, held Wednesday through Friday at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — After months of searching for the perfect slogan to summarize the New Hampshire experience, the Division of Travel and Tourism has focused on the state's independent spirit.

New Hampshire's new brand campaign aimed at potential visitors invites them to travel to the state and “Live Free and …” The slogan references the state's iconic motto, “Live Free or Die.”

The campaign was unveiled at the 36th annual Governor's Conference on Tourism at the Radisson Hotel on Thursday, the same day posters that feature the new slogan went up on the New Hampshire Tourism Facebook page. Campaign ads showing a hiker's leg making it up the side of a mountain invite visitors to “Live free and climb,” and two ads featuring children diving into a local lake ask visitors to “Live free and splash” and “Live free and discover.”

“This new campaign is very exciting because it encapsulates the scenic beauty that New Hampshire is renowned for, and combines it with our independent ‘Live Free or Die' reputation,” said Gov. John Lynch. “I believe we have truly captured what makes this such a special state to live in and to visit by embracing all the things we love about New Hampshire.”

The campaign includes a new logo, which incorporates the natural resources in the state, including the lakes, mountains, rivers and ocean. New advertising will be phased in to the summer campaign and incorporated into the welcome and information centers and the Welcome to New Hampshire highway signs.

“We are excited about the branding efforts,” said Mark Brewer, general manager of the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. “We believe it will enhance the desire to travel with the variety of experiences New Hampshire has to offer.”

Work on the new brand began more than a year ago and was developed after extensive research into the perceptions of potential visitors.

Lori Harnois, director of the state's Division of Travel and Tourism, said what became clear outside of New Hampshire is that the state is known not only for its fall foliage and scenic beauty but also as a place to come to relax, unwind and create lasting memories.

Although the “Live Free or Die” motto has long been referenced when speaking about Granite Staters' flinty independent streak, especially in regard to politics, the motto-based slogan is intended to remind visitors of relaxing by a New Hampshire lake, skiing down a mountain or walking along the seashore.

“Generations of families have come to New Hampshire for a reason,” said Jayne O'Connor, president of White Mountains Attractions in North Woodstock. “There is a spirit here that draws people back, whether they come every year on vacation or (are) making their first visit. This new campaign evokes that sentiment.”

Previous marketing campaigns have also tried to capture the state's wide range of outdoor activities, shopping, arts and dining options. The slogan, “New Hampshire. You're going to love it here,” was adopted in 2005.



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