11 Cable Operators, Adlink to Boost New Orleans Tourism

In an effort that’s expected to generate $1.3 billion in visitor spending, 11 cable companies and interconnect Adlink are donating $12 million in ad time to run spots promoting tourism in New Orleans.

Cox Communications, the major cable operator in the Big Easy, is being joined in the initiative to help post-Katrina New Orleans by Bresnan Communications, Bright House Networks, Cable One, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, Comcast, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Time Warner Cable and Adlink, the nation’s largest interconnect.

They have cumulatively committed to donate at least $12 million in advertising time on their networks to run award-winning spots developed by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism; the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., known as NOTMC; and their advertising agency, Peter A. Mayer Advertising.

The campaign features well-known celebrities who have connections to New Orleans inviting viewers to “come fall in love with New Orleans all over again.”

Wynton Marsalis, Emeril Lagasse, Patricia Clarkson, Dan Akroyd, George Rodriguez, Dr. John, John Goodman and others share what they love about New Orleans in the spots -- "come for the music, come for the food, come for the romance, come for the history, come for the art, come for the culture, and come for the fun." A call to action drives viewers to the NOTMC site for great hotel and package rates, as well as to book their trips.

“It’s no secret that I spent many successful years in the private sector, working in cable for Cox Communications,” New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said in a prepared statement. “I know first-hand the incredible contributions cable companies make to their local communities all across the country and Cox’s culture of community involvement. On behalf of everyone who calls New Orleans home, even those who remain relocated, I give heartfelt thanks to Cox and their cable peers for this incredible gift.”

The cable initiative is expected to generate $1.3 billion in visitor spending for the Big Easy, according to research by NOTMC, a private economic-development corporation created under Louisiana law.

“The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was jaw-dropping for Americans who never dreamed that one of the nation’s most historic and beautiful cities could be so vulnerable,” Greg Bicket, vice president and regional manager of Cox Communications in New Orleans, said in a prepared statement. “The storm was unbelievable, but so is the spirit of the residents who are working to restore New Orleans to its former glory, as well as the generosity of our peers in the cable industry who are making this gift.”

Tourism is vital to New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole, and visitors to New Orleans often venture out to tour the larger region. The spots run by the cable operators will also be tagged with www.Louisianatravel.com, the state’s Web site developed to help tourists enjoy the rich history and culture that is unique to Louisiana.