This image was lost some time after publication.

New York City: It is surrounded by New York state. This is the key message that state officials are hoping to communicate to you, the public, with their new and improved "I Love NY" campaign [NYT]. "There are a lot of beautiful pictures of serene mountains and lakes. How do you make your mountains and lakes different?" asked an ad exec. By polluting them with dioxin and a plethora of prescription drugs? No, it turns out the answer is to suggest that "we have the pulsating heart and soul of New York City in everything we do." In fact, it looks like the whole campaign is an attempt to slingshot some tourists out of the city for little jaunts upstate. Which will be hard, because New York state pretty much sucks.

I say that from a position of ignorance, because I've never bothered to explore upstate NY much. Primarily because I'm convinced that it sucks. That makes me the target audience for this campaign! So how are they pulling skeptical people away from the confines of the city?

The twist comes in using the powerful appeal of the city to woo visitors to other locales, which is encapsulated in the phrase "The state with the heart of the city."

For instance, an ad for New York vineyards asserts that the wine "has to be just as good as what the city offers."

In other words: Why not drive way the hell upstate so you can have some wine that you could've gotten anywhere in your own neighborhood? We promise that we're trying to make it just as good as what you have at home.


Why not just stay in Brooklyn? It's the place you can do everything, "from taking a rollercoaster ride, sunning on the beach, and seeing a dolphin show in Coney Island to exploring one of the world's best Egyptian collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art." Hey, I love New York!