I always roll my eyes a bit at the “Virginia is for Lovers” advertisements on TV. When I think of romantic locales, I think of quaint Charleston, glamourous New York, the crystal waters of the Caribbean—not the Civil War battle sites of Virginia. Is it just me?
In light of Valentine’s Day, I decided to do a little research and figure out where on earth this slogan came from.
As it turns out, the slogan was never intended to mean strictly “lovers” in the romantic sense. Silly me for assuming so.
The slogan was created in 1969 by Martin & Woltz, Inc., an advertising agency in Richmond. The original slogan was intended to change according to audience. For example, “Virginia is for History Lovers” or “Virginia is for Beach Lovers.”
After being deemed too limiting, it became simply “Virginia is for Lovers.” The first mention of the slogan was in Modern Bride.
I clearly underestimated the scope and influence of this slogan. Perhaps I’m just a North Carolina snob. Do we even have a slogan? I’m not sure, but we do have the song, “Carolina girls, best in the world,” which is clearly factual.
A few interesting tidbits about “Virginia is for Lovers”:
- Forbes named this slogan as one of the Top Ten Tourism Marketing campaigns of all time.
- New York was inspired by Virginia’s slogan and followed suit in the 1970s with the “I Love New York” campaign to promote tourism. Now that’s big time.
- It is the title and inspiration for songs by Jordin Sparks and Mat Kearney.
I salute you, Virginia. Forgive me for questioning your dateability.