Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled today the new "Virginia is for Lovers" license plate, which will become the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) standard-issue plate beginning in March 2014. Governor McDonnell showcased the new plate for the first time during his remarks today at the Governor's Transportation Conference, themed "Road to the Future," at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The new plate design will replace the plain blue and white plates which have been the standard for the past couple of decades.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McDonnell remarked, "In 2007, we honored on Virginia plates the anniversary of the founding of America at Jamestown. Soon, we will utilize Virginia's timeless slogan to help promote our great Commonwealth. Every time a Virginia-registered car sporting one of these tags travels outside of the state, people around the nation will be reminded that Virginia is a tremendous destination for businesses and tourists."
Governor McDonnell commended the Virginia Tourism Corporation and DMV for their collaboration to make this new plate a reality. The license plate will also feature the Web site Virginia.org, the Commonwealth's official travel and tourism Web site, which has been recognized as the best tourism website in the country. More than 80% of travelers use Internet websites to find, plan, and book their travel. These license plates will drive travelers to Virginia.org, where consumers can find and book their next Virginia vacation.
About "Virginia is for Lovers"
The "Virginia is for Lovers" slogan will celebrate its 45th birthday in 2014. The phrase came from a creative team headed by a Richmond advertising agency, now known as the Martin Agency, which won the Virginia State Travel Service account in 1968. The first ad mentioning the new slogan ran in the March 1969 issue of "Modern Bride."
By popular vote, "Virginia is for Lovers" was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame on September 21, 2009. The slogan was included in the Advertising Icon Museum alongside fellow 2009 inductees, the AOL Running Man, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and State Farm's "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There." This recognition came on the heels of Forbes.com tapping "Virginia is for Lovers" as one of the top ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time.
No one knows exactly why "Virginia is for Lovers" has been so durable, but part of the mystique of the slogan is that it has meant many things to different people. Today, a new generation is discovering love for Virginia's mountains, beaches, history, theme parks, vibrant cities, outdoor activities, sports and hospitality.
And now, Virginia's love story will hit the roads in March 2014.