DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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April 18, 2012

New tourism campaign gets mixed reviews

The state Division of Travel and Tourism wants visitors to fill in the blank.

After a year of research and $130,000, New Hampshire last week launched its new campaign, complete with new logo and slogan: "Live Free and ..."

"The concept is Live Free and Discover or Live Free and Ski," said Lori Harnois, the division's marketing manager. "It allows people to put in their own emotional idea of what they like to do on vacation."

The new slogan replaces "You're going to love it here." Tourism officials hope even more people will be drawn to the Granite State, enticed by the new campaign.

There's a new logo, which incorporates green mountains, blue water and NH in flowing script.

"The logo incorporated the key attributes that consumers had told us why they visit New Hampshire, for its mountains, lakes, seacoasts and many trails," Harnois said. "We try to encompass all of those elements and put it into the logo."

For local business owners, the new slogan could bring the promise of more tourism dollars.

Bill Parnell, president of the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said he likes the new concept.

"I like the idea, playing on Live Free or Die as a marketing technique," he said. "But I'm not sure it's really targeted for the Derry/Londonderry area, so much as for where people are more likely to vacation. This is clearly directed at the lakes and the north and the seacoast."

But, he said, any tourism is good for the state.

"It gets people into our state and, with any luck, stopping into our towns, even as simple as stopping in at a restaurant on the way up," he said.

Some residents weren't as enthusiastic, saying it was disrespectful to play with the state motto.

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