"I Love New York" Makeover

To increase tourism, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo is spending $5 million to reinvent the classic logo, "I (Heart) New York." David Lubars, chairman of BBDO, the advertising firm working on the campaign, says that the logo needed to be revitalized because it's been "co-opted" by other countries:

"If you go to Russia, if you go to Spain, you see ‘I heart something,' and it's lost its New York cachet. My team's assignment was to bring new cachet back to that logo and make it mean something important."

As part of their summer campaign, The New York State Tourism website, http://www.iloveny.com/, encourages people to draw their own "heart." Drawings are varied and creative but perhaps a little boring.

In a press release, the Govenor's office explained the rationale for this approach: 

"This is the first time in nearly 40 years, since the logo's inception, that New York State has officially asked the public for their interpretations of the 'I Love NY' and for the reasons they love New York."

New TV commercials will air for seven weeks during the summer. You see the logo prominently used during the commercials, which target tourists within 5 or 6 hours of driving distance to major NY cities. 

 Discussion Starters: 

  • At the end of the press release, the Governor's office cites several statistics about NY tourism and spending. What in this section are most and least convincing reasons to invest $5 million in this campaign? 
  • Offering the failed "New Coke" campaign as an example, Brian Sheehan, advertising professor at Syracuse University, warned, "You should mess with an icon at your own risk." What is your interpretation of Sheehan's view, and do you agree with him? What are the risks to NY in this campaign?