New Nevada ads use icons

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is launching a series of new ads for its highly successful “Nevada Wide Open” advertising campaign that features classic Las Vegas icons in unlikely locations, Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt announced today.The new ads apply a light touch to NCOT’s adventure theme, taking renowned Las Vegas Strip entertainers such as “Elvis,” Wayne Newton and a line of dazzling showgirls out of the theaters and showrooms and into the great outdoors.

The first print ad, in the current issue of Outside magazine, shows a tuxedo-clad Wayne Newton fly-fishing in Northern Nevada’s Pyramid Lake. Future ads will include showgirls in colorful feathered costumes cross-country skiing at Lake Tahoe and Elvis impersonators mountain biking in the rugged Ruby Mountains near Elko.

“Nevada’s electrifying entertainment is legendary, but for some people, the exciting adventure opportunities come as a surprise,” Hunt, NCOT chair, said. “The new ads drive home the point that there’s more to Nevada than some visitors might think. Our goal is for people to associate Nevada with adventure as well as entertainment.”

The ads will direct readers to a toll-free number, as well as a page on NCOT’s Web site. The telephone numbers and the Web pages are different for each publication so that NCOT can track where the responder saw the ad. Once responders call the number or visit the Web page, they can order or look at Nevada tourism information.

“When we began to market Nevada as an adventure destination, it sparked public interest because it was new and surprising,” NCOT Director Bruce Bommarito said. “People had not associated Nevada with outdoor adventure, but now they do. This new phase of the Wide Open campaign portrays the lesser well-known adventure side of our tourism product while reminding people about the entertainment that made Nevada famous.”


Public response to NCOT’s advertising on television and in travel and adventure magazines and on the Internet increased 30 percent in fiscal 2006 over fiscal 2005, Bommarito said. Over the entire 2.5 years since Wide Open made its debut, visits to the NCOT Web site,, have reached nearly 3.8 million.

The new ads represent the start of the Wide Open campaign’s second phase and are scheduled to run in adventure and travel publications including, in addition to Outside magazine, National Geographic Traveler and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Traveler. NCOT also plans to use the campaign for online advertising and may produce accompanying television spots in the future.

NCOT introduced adventure as the focus of its advertising campaign in 2002, after its research showed that people did not associate Nevada with outdoor adventure, even though it’s the most mountainous state with alpine lakes, world-class skiing, developed trails and dramatic wide-open landscapes that seem to stretch into infinity.

“Nevada offers plenty of adventure opportunities, but we found that the market was underdeveloped because people weren’t aware of it,” Bommarito said. “We seized on the situation as a challenging opportunity and have focused our advertising on adventure ever since.”