Connecticut launches its new tourism campaign: ‘Make It Here”

by Ricky Rillera

HARTFORD, CT – Connecticut, derived from various anglicized spellings of “Quinnetuket,” has a popular and delightful state song, — Yankee Doodle — perhaps not many out-of-state folks know. It is a playful song that celebrates the spirit of independence and resourcefulness. But kids growing up remember it well, humming it in school yards, like a nursery rhyme: “Yankee Doodle went to town,/ A-Riding on a pony,/ Stuck a feather in his hat,/ And called it macaroni/Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle dandy.//

With spring around the corner and summer approaching, Connecticut has embraced a new theme, “Make It Here,” as its latest tourism campaign for the 2024 travel season. This theme aligns with the state’s new brand and replaces the “Find Your Vibe,” launched in 2022.

This year’s tagline resonates with the state’s efforts to encourage people to live, work, and play within its borders. Whether exploring its picturesque landscapes, savoring local cuisine, or immersing yourself in its rich history, Connecticut invites you to create memorable experiences here.

“As we continue on this exciting journey with the ‘Make It Here’ campaign, we’re not just promoting tourism, we’re celebrating the essence of Connecticut – the spirit of innovation, creativity, and community that defines us,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “From bustling cityscapes to serene landscapes, Connecticut offers an unparalleled experience for visitors and residents alike. Together, let’s showcase why Connecticut is not just a destination but a way of life.”

According to the governor’s office, the tourism campaign has a budget of $1.86 million that will span from April 1, 2024, through Labor Day 2024, employing an integrated mix of marketing tactics including:

  • Inflight seatbacks on targeted JetBlue flights
  • Connected TV/digital video
  • Prominent out-of-home placements in New York City, Boston, and along highways in Connecticut
  • Robust social media engagement
  • Content marketing
  • Paid search marketing

The campaign will spotlight hundreds of businesses statewide, ranging from hotels and restaurants to cultural attractions, theaters, wineries, breweries, and state parks, showcasing the breadth and depth of Connecticut’s tourism offerings. In addition to attracting visitors, the campaign aims to foster local pride by encouraging residents to explore Connecticut’s diverse attractions and experiences in their communities.

Connecticut’s tourism industry supports more than 150,000 jobs, said Dan O’Keefe, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. “‘Make It Here’ reinforces our commitment to reshaping perceptions about Connecticut to attract more businesses and residents while also bolstering this vital sector,” adds O’Keefe.

In 2023, as the summer neared its end and autumn approached, Connecticut experienced a surge in tourism, rising to 3% compared to the previous year, according to Tourism Economics. This Wayne, Pa.-based firm produces the study biennially for the Connecticut Office of Tourism. The state’s official tourism website logged 7.3 million site visits since January 2023—up 44% from 2022 – a record-breaking year.

“This spike in both current visits and interest in future visits reflects Connecticut’s growing appeal,” Lamont said in its media release. He encouraged residents and visitors to explore the state’s attractions and enjoy the incredible fall foliage. The state boasts the most extended foliage season among its New England counterparts.

Will Connecticut break its tourism record this year with the new “Make It Here” campaign?

“‘The ‘Make It Here’ platform celebrates a fundamental truth about Connecticut – that we are a state of innovation and action,” Anthony Anthony, Connecticut’s chief marketing officer, said. “When people visit to play, they feel that spirit and may consider making a life here. That’s why it’s so important to unify our messaging marketing strategies around that singular live, work, play idea and ‘Make It Here’ message.”

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