NM Tourism's 'Living Legends' videos up for national award

Jul. 31—The New Mexico Tourism Department is a finalist for a Skift IDEA Award for its "New Mexico True Living Legends" video series appearing as online advertising.

Skift, a leading travel news outlet, selected the "Living Legends" as a finalist in marketing under the Creative Thinkers category.

New Mexico Tourism is competing against the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Plum Guide, Travel + Leisure, Travelport and Priceline. The winners for 18 different awards will be announced in August.

New Mexico Tourism has never been nominated in the five-year history of the Skift Awards. New Mexico and Hawaii are the only state tourism departments nominated for these awards, said tourism department spokesman Cody Johnson.

"It is globally recognized," Johnson said in an interview. "It's the leading authority in the tourism media space."

Among the "Living Legends" videos produced since mid-2021 are profiles of Kialo Winters of Navajo Tours USA, New Mexico flamenco artist La Emi, Olympic skateboarder Mariah Duran, World Cup speed skier Ross Anderson and Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor Roxanne Swentzell.

The videos appear on New Mexico Tourism's YouTube channel and also as commercials on Hulu and other digital channels.

"The 'Living Legends' is targeted toward adventure travelers," Johnson said.

The videos are a series of character-focused stories that reflect the New Mexican "tradition of adventure steeped in culture," according to a Tourism Department news release.

"When we made the decision to refresh our creative strategy with an emphasis on storytelling, it made perfect sense to channel that strategy through the voices of the people who make New Mexico such a memorable place to visit," Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said in the release.