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First Wave of Newly Branded “Made in Tennessee” Tourism Campaign Hits the Market

July 21, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Developmentrolled out its much anticipated marketing campaign, introducing the powerful branding “Made in Tennessee” in an effort to bring global attention to the state’s tourism assets. Tourism is Tennessee’s No. 2 industry, with a $16.2 billion economic impact to the state.

“Made in Tennessee” features original music written and performed by Nashville musicians and producers, as well as music from Tennessee bands such as The Apache Relay and The Black Cadillacs. The voice of the campaign is Rivers Rutherford, a Tennessee-born songwriter responsible for penning numerous No. 1 country hits. Real-life Tennesseans and Tennessee visitors are the featured talent. Future campaign assets enlist two famous Tennesseans, entertainment icon Dolly Parton and international rock star Jack White. The meticulous attention to highlighting all things “Made in Tennessee” brings the authenticity of Tennessee to life, frame by frame.gI_118572_PRINT_AD_MIT-Beauty-print



“Tourism is our second leading industry in Tennessee, and it has direct payout to the state, providing sales tax dollars that translate into funding for education and other programs so important to our citizens,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “With the launch of this new advertising campaign, our goal is to showcase our incredible assets to continue to build tourism as an economic generator that brings out-of-state tax revenue to Tennessee.”

The goal of the brand campaign is to build awareness and inspire travelers interested in a memorable vacation that can only be “Made in Tennessee.”

VML, a global marketing agency under the parent company WPP, was recently named as the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s advertising agency of record. The creative campaign was built from the ground up with VML’s expertise and tourism industry input and buy-in through Governor Haslam’s appointed Tennessee Tourism Committee.

“Travelers want an authentic experience when they come to Tennessee,” Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Susan Whitaker said. “In this inspirational new campaign, VML has helped us to leverage the scenic beauty, music, history and family-friendly attractions to highlight experiences that can only be made in Tennessee.”

Tennessee’s five tourism pillars, Music, Beauty, Family, History and Experience, are the central themes of the new campaign. The “Family” and “Beauty” TV and digital spots, along with the “Music” TV spot, are in-market. The creative captures the emotion and inspiration of a Tennessee family vacation and the scenic beauty that can only be “Made in Tennessee.” “Experiences” TV and digital spot, as well as the digital “Music” spot, will launch in September, reminding travelers of the authentic experiences available in Tennessee and where the soundtrack of America is made – in Tennessee. The creative content will continue to evolve as distribution channels grow over the life of the campaign.

The “Made in Tennessee” campaign will maintain a strong Tennessee presence in the state’s core feeder markets including Atlanta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville, S.C.; Jackson, Miss.; Little Rock, Ark.; Louisville, Ky.; Paducah, Ky.; St. Louis, Mo. Additional new growth markets include Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Orlando. International marketing through Brand USA, Travel South USA and Lofthouse is part of Tennessee’s global reach.

To follow the campaign: #madeintn. Explore more at, and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

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