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State Launches Third Consecutive $1 Million Seasonal Tourism Ad Campaign

Connecticut by the Numbers

The Connecticut Office of Tourism is launching a new winter marketing campaign reflecting Connecticut’s dynamic, diverse public places. The new “The State I’m In” campaign, announced by Gov. Ned Lamont this week, is aimed at supporting Connecticut’s $15 billion tourism industry and encourages both residents and visitors to explore “all Connecticut has to offer this winter season.”

It is the third consecutive $1 million seasonal tourism ad campaign, and the first time in many years that Connecticut has promoted an integrated marketing campaign for the winter season. Running through March 31, 2022, “The State I’m In” campaign will feature hundreds of tourism businesses across Connecticut and spotlight many unique and unexpected experiences.

Last spring, the state announced it’s summer campaign theme, “Say Yes to Connecticut,” which was born out of the Office of Tourism’s proprietary research that showed a growing sense of optimism among Northeast consumers amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and pent-up demand for travel, especially regional travel.  That $1.2 million campaign ran from May 1 through September 6.

It was followed by a $1.4 million campaign in the fall - nearly triple the amount typically invested in Connecticut’s fall marketing program. The expanded budget was designed to have the campaign reach about 33% of its target audience market in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island – compared to 10% in recent years – as well as expand into other geographical markets, including Philadelphia, according to state officials.

“This new winter tourism campaign showcases just how vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Connecticut is today,” Governor Lamont said. “Not only will it help attract new visitors to Connecticut, but it will also drive revenues to our many incredible restaurants, hotels, attractions, and all kinds of local business across the state.”

The $1 million winter marketing campaign utilizes an integrated mix of marketing tactics to reach people in-state, as well as across the region in both English and Spanish. It includes:

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Connecticut Tourism image
  • New TV spots that will run on streaming services across the region as well as air in-state during local coverage of such high-profile live events as the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, New Year’s Eve specials, NFL playoff games and the Big East Finals (NCAA);
  • Billboards across the region that feature authentic and user-generated photos and captions from residents, visitors and influencers;
  • Social media campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok;
  • New content on CTvisit.com, the state’s official tourism website that is currently trending towards 7 million web visitors for 2021;
  • Paid search marketing and content seeding; and
  • Earned media, including public relations and email marketing.

The latest tourism marketing campaign gets underway amidst growing concern about increasing numbers related to COVID-19, spurred by the omicron variant.

“Our goal with ‘The State I’m In’ campaign is to encourage residents and travelers to see Connecticut from a fresh new perspective — one that reflects just how vibrant and welcoming the state is,” said Christine Castonguay, director of branding and marketing for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. “As we begin the important process of refreshing Connecticut’s branding with this campaign, we need to update the perceptions people have of Connecticut — and showcase the exceptional quality of life we offer both visitors and residents.”

The new campaign’s television spot was produced by Connecticut creative and production firms and features a local talent, Eddie Cruz, Jr. — a Newington native and University of Hartford, Hartt School of Theatre alum — who is passionate about living and working in the state.  The commercial includes scenes of Pratt Street in Hartford, Dockside Brewery & Waterfront Biergarten in Milford, Backyard Adventure UTV Tours in Canaan, Downtown Mystic, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, The Village in Stamford, The Knowlton in Bridgeport, BAR in New Haven, Aerial Arts Fitness in Jewett City and East Rock Park in New Haven.

Plans are for the campaign to also feature visitors to and residents of Connecticut showcasing actual photos of their experiences across CTvisit.com’s online and social media channels.

“Tourism is at its best when we reach a group of diverse audiences and help instill a feeling of curiosity and innovation about a destination,” Noelle Stevenson, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, said. “’The State I’m In’ campaign speaks to the vibrancy, energy and edginess of Connecticut’s tourism offerings. We’re confident this campaign will not only inspire residents and visitors to explore Connecticut this winter season but will exude a sense of newness about all we have to offer.”

To participate in the “The State I’m In” campaign, individuals can use #StateImInCT on social media.

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