Ear to the ground

“What kind of person doesn’t like goats?”

-A local man while admiring the cover of last week’s Durango Telegraph

Universal appeal?

Extraterrestrials are once again mixing it up just south of the border in the Land of Enchantment. The State of New Mexico is at odds over a new tourist marketing campaign that features “reptilian spacemen” rather than adobe townscapes or desert vistas. The subject of debate is a state-financed advertising campaign that features “drooling, grotesque office workers from outer space,” according to an Associated Press.

One of the 30-second TV spots shows banter between two aliens over a copy machine, where the female talks about being taken by her boyfriend to a New Mexico mountain retreat. Another features two reptilian aliens dressed as tourists and playing golf beneath the Sandia Mountains. All of the spots eventually conclude “The word is out. New Mexico just might be the best place in the universe.”

While many New Mexicans agree with the closing sentiment, they do not appreciate the approach the state is taking. Ken Mompellier, head of the convention and visitors bureau in Las Cruces, argued that the campaign is lowering New Mexico’s standards. He told the AP, “My first question would be: What does this campaign show of the things that we are known for? I look at this campaign and I don’t see the fit.”

Others did not mind the approach so much as the physical appearance of the aliens themselves. Chris Staag, of Taos Ski Valley, commented that the aliens themselves “look like they’re going to suck your brains out.”

The creators of the campaign, M&C Saatchi, a London-based advertising firm, beg to differ. The campaign recently won an Adrian Award, which honors excellence in advertising and marketing.

Jonah Bloom, editor of Advertising Age said he agrees. “In a cluttered world you have to try something different,” he told the AP. “When an alien pops up on your screen, you tend to be engaged.”

The TV ads have been screened only in San Diego and Minneapolis so far and on direct flights to New Mexico. Print ads have appeared in publications in the West and Midwest, and M&C Saatchi argues that hits on the New Mexico tourism website have “risen noticeably” since the campaign began.


In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale