What's so great about Virginia? The state's latest tourism campaign from The Martin Agency and JMI will spell it out for you.
The initiative features "VA Sway," a supremely smooth track from hip-hop titan Pusha T and upcoming artist Kingna Scott. Their hypnotic "V-I-R-G-I-N-I-A " hook will stay lodged in your head long after you finish these samples:
Both proud Virginians, the pair teamed up for "Heart & Soul," a push orchestrated by The Martin Agency. The state's longstanding "Virginia Is for Lovers" tagline and its heart icon remain in work celebrating Black artists, creators and influencers. This dedicated site invites folks to "Check back every month to meet new faces and discover their favorite places to explore, eat, work and chill."
"Our 'Heart & Soul' creators are giving visitors an insider's guide to some of the best history, culture, food and Black-owned businesses in Virginia's incredibly vibrant destinations. You know our heart, now meet our soul," says tourism communications director Caroline Logan.
"VA Sway" will drop across streaming platforms this Friday (June 17), with a full-length video to follow.
"Music is something that connects all Virginians, and we have a great scene for all genres," Martin Agency group account director Lindsey Netto tells Muse. "Music, just like travel, is a cultural experience. We want to elevate and celebrate the musical talent right here in Virginia for everyone, everywhere to experience."
Pusha's high profile should help make headlines, while Kingna's inspiring story—she overcame a traumatic brain injury to pursue her music career—adds a deeper dimension to the project, as does its release ahead of Juneteenth (June 19), which commemorates the end of slavery on American shores.
"Kingna Scott is somebody who is really talented, who has always played acoustically in Virginia Beach, where I'm from," says Pusha T. "She's a person Virginia has reached out to, and in return she's helped shaped the culture. This is a great opportunity to showcase her talent."
Covid-19 took a harsh toll on Virginia tourism, with the state's travel and hospitality suffering a nearly 25 percent decline last year compared to 2019.
"We should be just under full recovery in 2022, as long as there are no major economic or pandemic-related disruptions this year," Logan says. Virginia is counting on "Heart & Soul," and that dope "VA Sway" groove, to help drive the turnaround.
CLIENT: Virginia Tourism Corporation
CEO: Rita McClenny
VP MARKETING: Diane Bechamps
BRAND DIRECTOR: Lindsey Norment
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ali Zaman
Creative Specialist: Sarah Hauser
Brand Manager: Leah Reams
Creative Generalist: Hannah Armstrong
Director of Marketing Operations: Jane Lammay
Director of Communications: Caroline Logan
Social Media Manager: Taylor Paul
Social Media Coordinator: Liza Mickens
AGENCY: The Martin Agency
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Kristen Cavallo
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Danny Robinson
SVP, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jerry Hoak
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Adam Stockton
VP, CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Mik Manulik
COPYWRITER: Makeda Looney
ART DIRECTOR: Ashley Bozeman
ART DIRECTOR: Eman Shaheen
SVP, HEAD OF PRODUCTION & DIGITAL: Tasha Dean
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Heather Collier
SENIOR PRODUCER: Evan Frank
SENIOR CONTENT PRODUCER: Brian Fox
VP, GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Lindsey Netto
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Tayler Anderson
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER: Courtney Hurd
PROJECT CORDINATOR: Kelly Briglia
CULTURAL IMPACT & BRAND
COMMUNICATIONS: Jaclyn Ruelle
GROUP DIRECTOR CULTURE COMMUNICATIONS: Keith Gordan
SPECIALIST: D'Eric Watson
VP, GROUP STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Taylor Wiegert
Partner Agency: JMI
Director of Account Management: Whitney White
VP, Brand Strategy: James Warren
Talent Company: PVTL
FOUNDER: Kristen Fraser
EXECUTIVE Producer: Linda Lee