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Gazette Premium Content Branding campaign: 'Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice.'

Associated Press Updated: May 8, 2014 at 11:46 am

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Tourism Commission is taking advantage of Nebraska's people and their apparent reputation for friendliness in a new branding campaign: "Nebraska Nice."

Among its materials is a recommendation to "Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice."

Commission vice chairman John Chapo said in a news release that the campaign evolved from intense brand research that showed one of Nebraska's strongest assets is its people.

During research in November, December and January, three online surveys were taken from four groups: visitors, potential visitors, residents and community/visitor industry stakeholders. A brand research report says that in the surveys, Nebraskans' friendliness was the most frequently mentioned attribute.

"Nebraska is about genuine friendliness and relaxation across all audiences but also a fun place for nonresidents," the report says.

"This is our guiding compass," Kathy McKillip, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director, told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Officials wanted a message that would resonate with Nebraska residents and very quickly communicate Nebraska's strengths to potential visitors, she said.

Other states may focus on their beaches, mountains or their amusements parks, McKillip said, but no other state has focused on its people as its No. 1 asset.

Nebraska Nice is the brand around which the state will build its tourism marketing campaign, and McKillip said it's a campaign that every community or business can embrace.

All Nebraskans must step up, believe in and sell the notion that it's so nice here that people are going to want to experience it, she said.

"And nice is good," McKillip said.

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