RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you've travelled anywhere in Virginia, you know that "Virginia is for Lovers." It's been the state tourism slogan for decades.
Now the pressure's on for you to help secure the motto's place in the national spotlight.
"Virginia is for Lovers" is up for one of two spots on the Madison Avenue advertising Walk of Fame in New York City. Tourism folks think that with your help, the slogan has a shot, because it means so many things to so many people.
Regardless of what creative ways some may use the slogan, Virginia is for Lovers has major staying power.
It debuted in 1969, touting Virginia as the home of the country's first honeymoon. In the Woodstock era of peace and love, tourism officials wanted to appeal to older travelers who wanted to be hip.
"Some people questioned it, is that a little bit risque," said Alisa Bailey, president of Virginia Tourism Corporation. "But Governor Holton at the time said no, what you love in a vacation is in Virginia. And so it really stuck."
So over 40 years, Virginia has been for lovers of the mountains, the beaches, history, just about anything.
That caught the eyes of the selection committee at advertising week magazine, and got it nominated for the advertising Walk of Fame in New York this year.
A winner would join the likes of 'What can Brown do for you?' and 'When you care enough to send the very best.' But this year's field of 26 has some big wigs like 'Got milk?' and 'Like a good neighbor... Well, you know the rest.
"It's a tough contest. We're just depending upon all those folks over the years who have visited Virginia and all the Virginians out there to get out and vote for us," Bailey said.
And in a state where tourism employs 200,000 people and generates $1.2 billion in state and local taxes, a bite out of the Big Apple would be... well, lovely.
"Having it in New York where there's millions of people that are gonna pass by, you can't buy that kind of advertising. We're keeping our fingers crossed and we want everybody to vote," Bailey said.
You have until September 18 to cast your vote in the walk of fame contest. You can do that on the advertising week website -- see the link at right. The winner will be announced during "Ad Week" September 21.