SOURCE: California State Parks

May 26, 2005 13:15 ET

California State Parks Launches New Branding Campaign to Bolster Awareness, Support and Revenue for System

New Campaign Encourages Visitors to "Discover the Many States of California"

Campaign Launches This Month in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 26, 2005 -- "Discover the many states of California." That's the message at the center of a new advertising and public service campaign unveiled today to create awareness for California's 278 State Parks, the largest and most diverse system of state parks in the country. Launching in Sacramento during the month of May, the campaign is the result of a unique public/private partnership between California State Parks and the California State Parks Foundation -- all developed at no cost to the taxpayer.

"We want to remind Californians as they plan their summer that the California State Park System has more to offer than they ever imagined," commented Ruth Coleman, director, California State Parks. "We house and care for some of the best kept secrets in California and we want to change that. We want Californians to discover their natural and cultural heritage and all the incredible recreational opportunities our state has to offer."

"Through this public/private partnership, we are raising the visibility of parks for the benefit of residents, visitors, concessionaires, state parks, non-profit partners and the State of California," said Elizabeth Goldstein, president, California State Parks Foundation. "State Parks are an important part of the state's economy. More than 85 million people visit state parks each year. For every dollar invested in our State Park System, $2.35 is generated to California's general fund."

Entitled "The Adventure Series," the campaign is designed to raise the visibility, awareness and usage of the state park system and educate the public about its diverse offerings. The ads contain images of state parks throughout California, highlighting many that are undiscovered or not typically associated with the California State Park system. Each state park has an identifying number. Using "Adventure" with the number identifying the park showcases the breadth of the parks and their diversity -- and invites the public to visit a park that they may not have explored before. The print campaign features alluring visual images from such parks as: California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento; Marshall Gold Discovery in Coloma; Prairie City State Vehicle Recreation Area in the Sierra Nevada foothills; Montana de Oro State Park near San Luis Obispo; and Hearst Castle in San Simeon. The ads feature a final call-to-action, asking visitors the question, "Where will the hundreds of California State Parks take you today?"

The San Francisco office of Frankel, the award-winning brand marketing agency based in Chicago, created the branding and advertising campaign for California State Parks. In creating the campaign, Frankel conducted focus groups to determine people's thoughts and reactions to state parks. "Focus group participants were surprised when presented with the diversity of the state park system," said Erin Sonnenschein, Frankel's vice president creative. "The tag line -- 'Discover the many states of California' -- has an enormous emotional appeal. The word 'Adventure,' juxtaposed with a number, gave park users a feeling of excitement and curiosity. Many imagined themselves in the picture. Then we added a call to action with 'Where will the hundreds of California State Parks take you today?'"

The campaign targets both male and female California residents ages 18 - 54 with children under 17 years old. The primary audience is made up of moderate to heavy park users and active adults interested in the parks for hiking, biking, camping, relaxing and family activities.

The campaign launches late May in Sacramento, at the beginning of the summer park season when families start planning their vacations and activities. Newspaper, radio, TV, transit shelter and outdoor poster advertising vehicles are being used. TV and radio PSAs can be seen and heard statewide. Visitors to the parks also will see new and consistent signs, brochures and banners. The $180,000 campaign is being funded privately by the California State Parks Foundation. Following the initial launch, the goal is to extend the campaign statewide.

About California Department of Parks and Recreation

California Department of Parks and Recreation manages 278 park units, which contain the finest and most diverse collection of natural, cultural, and recreational resources to be found within California. These treasures consist of nearly 1.4 million acres, with over 280 miles of coastline; 625 miles of lake and river frontage; nearly 15,000 campsites; and 3,000 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. For more information, please call or visit www.parks.ca.gov.

About California State Parks Foundation

The California State Parks Foundation is the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's 278 State Parks. Since its inception in 1969, the Foundation has raised more than $116 million in land, funds and artifacts for State Parks. The Foundation's support comes from its 55,000 members, corporate partners and foundations. For more information, please contact the California State Parks Foundation at 415-258-9975 or visit www.calparks.org.

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