Discover the Heart and Soul of Mississippi: Where Warmth and Hospitality Await

An authentic tourism TV commercial captures the state's warmth and hospitality through the unique perspectives of transplanted creatives, inviting visitors to experience "The South's Warmest Welcome."

About Mississippi Tourism:

Mississippi Tourism is the state’s official destination marketing organization, dedicated to promoting the rich history, vibrant culture, and genuine hospitality of Mississippi. From the Mississippi Delta’s blues heritage to the stunning antebellum mansions of Natchez, Mississippi Tourism showcases the state’s diverse attractions, encouraging visitors to experience the unique charm and warmth that makes Mississippi truly unforgettable.

Project Overview

As transplants to Mississippi, myself an Art Director from a small beach town in Southern California and my Copywriter partner from Indiana, were tasked with creating an authentic brand image TV commercial to promote tourism in the state. Our fresh perspectives as newcomers allowed us to perceive the essence of Mississippi’s hospitality and charm that would resonate with potential visitors in a way that a native creative team might overlook.

Challenge

You would think an Art Director from a small beach town in Southern California and a Copywriter from Indiana, would be an unlikely choice to create an authentic brand image TV commercial for Mississippi tourism. Not only were we not from Mississippi, but we had only lived in the state for less than six months. As outsiders, we were faced with the challenge of crafting an authentic and compelling message that would showcase the state’s unique appeal in a manner that would invite others to discover Mississippi for themselves.

Solution

Our unique perspective as transplants became our greatest strength in developing a winning concept. Our experiences allowed us to perceive the unique charm of the state in a way that a native creative team might overlook.

Although we knew we wanted to build upon the state’s long-standing tagline, “The South’s Warmest Welcome”, it was challenging to find the right words to express our experiences in a simple yet heartfelt manner. Looking for inspiration, we listened through an entire music publishing catalog, ultimately discovering an old jazz song that captured the feeling we encountered during our time in Mississippi. The result was a tagline that not only effectively communicated the warmth of the people and location but also became a sincere invitation to experience something different.

Traveling across the state, we shot a series of vignettes showcasing scenarios we had experienced while living in Mississippi — capturing the heart and soul of what makes the state such a wonderful place to visit. It was about the warm, friendly, helpful, and generous nature of Mississippians towards everyone they meet – even strangers – and shooting in unique and beautiful Mississippi locations that tourists would love to visit.

As the Senior Art Director, I developed the visual strategy, ensuring the storyboards reflected the essence of the people and unique locations in Mississippi, as well as working with the Film Director, Director of Photography, and Editor to create the final commercial. The Copywriter, who was also an accomplished musician, oversaw rewriting the lyrics to better resonate with our concept, choosing a vocalist, and assisted in producing the new music track. The new song became the musical “voice over” that drove the commercial’s narrative.

The resulting 60-second commercial wove together scenes of genuine hospitality and stunning visuals of unique and beautiful Mississippi locations and historical landmarks. These included Windsor Ruins, Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens, Natchez Trace Parkway, Wade Walton’s Blues Barbershop, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge, The Delta Queen Sternwheel Steamboat, and the Mississippi River.

The final shot, featuring the tagline “Come someplace warm for a change,” reinforced the welcoming nature of the state and served as a perfect tie-in to the state’s long-standing tagline, “The South’s Warmest Welcome.” This closing message effectively invited viewers to experience the warmth and hospitality of Mississippi for themselves, showcasing the state as a unique and inviting destination.

Genome Cosmetique

Song lyrics: “Ever since we met. My heart can’t forget. All I ever think about is you. Little things you do. Thrill me through and through. All I ever think about is you.

The Results

The Mississippi Tourism brand image commercial successfully captured the heart and soul of the state, showcasing the warmth and hospitality that makes Mississippi a truly special destination. By authentically representing the experiences of the creative team and highlighting the state’s unique charm, the campaign resonated with audiences and encouraged potential visitors to discover the many wonders of Mississippi.

Although precise impact measures are not available, the commercial’s heartfelt and genuine portrayal of Mississippi’s hospitality and attractions undoubtedly contributed to increased interest in the state as a travel destination. The campaign’s success lies in its ability to convey the essence of Mississippi, inviting viewers to experience “The South’s Warmest Welcome” for themselves.

Industry

  • Hospitality and Tourism

Project Type

Involvement

  • Art Director

Tools

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop