LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City tourism officials hope to lure more visitors to Los Angeles with a new ad campaign apparently targeted at a proposed travel ban by the Trump administration.
A video from the “Discover Los Angeles” campaign features the tagline “Everyone is welcome” along with paper planes “flying” over various multi-ethnic communities and several local landmarks, including Olvera Street, Venice Beach and the Original Farmer’s Market.
Notable local cameos in the ad include street art by Shepard Fairey and Madonna’s choreographer Megan Lawson and dancer Jo’Artis Ratti, while “Angelenos who were plucked off the streets of L.A. in real-time” make up about half the cast.
The roughly 90-second spot – set to “Real Love Baby” by L.A.’s own Father John Misty – also reinforces messaging from city officials on diversity by featuring two men kissing on a staircase and a transgender woman taking a photo of three Indian women.
The ad targets the under 40 crowd in Mexico, Canada, China, Australia and the U.K.
“Diversity and inclusivity have always been cornerstones of Los Angeles culture, but there has never been a more crucial time to reinforce these points,” said Discover Los Angeles president and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. “As one of the planet’s most diverse metro areas with residents hailing from 140 countries who speak more than 224 different languages, Los Angeles is uniquely poised to launch such a campaign.”
“It’s not intended to be political. But it’s in response to a business problem,” said Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer for Discover Los Angeles.
He said L.A. draws about seven million international tourists a year. However, that number is expected to fall flat, not just from a drop in tourists from the Middle East.
“That’s going to come off the table. But there could be also this a halo effect to other countries, and that’s where the sentiment comes into play,” Skeoch explained.
Tourism Economics and Discover L.A. expect a drop of 240,000 tourists this year, 300,000 next year, about 290,000 in 2019 and more than 800,000 over the next three years.
“If you take those 840,000 missing visitors, each international visitor on average spends $1,000 when they come to the markets. So when you do the math, it becomes a very large number – almost three quarters of a billion dollars that we stand to lose,” Skeoch explained.