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Oklahoma: Believe in the American Dream

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(OKLAHOMA CITY) - A new ad campaign seeks to give Oklahomans a reason to believe in their state.

“I believe in Oklahoma,” is the in-state motto for the grass-roots campaign, developed by Jordan & Associates and the state Department of Commerce.

For marketing Oklahoma to outsiders, the credo is “Oklahoma: Believing in the American Dream.”

The campaign, announced Thursday at a Capitol news conference, spotlights several Oklahomans who have become a success in such fields as business, medicine and academia.

Officials said research continues to show outsiders have a negative image of Oklahoma as a sparsely populated state where not a lot is happening.

For many, “we had no image at all,” said Russell Perry, Gov. Frank Keating's adviser on economic development.

John Reid, marketing director at the commerce agency, said officials also discovered that many Oklahomans do not have a positive image of the state.

So Reid said the new advertising campaign will have twin goals. One will be to educate Oklahomans about the state's attributes, including the successes of its businesses and people.

The second goal, he said, will be to educate outsiders about Oklahoma's “balanced lifestyle” and desirability for business locations.

Among the successful Oklahomans featured in the campaign are Dr. Jordan Tang, renown Alzheimer's disease researcher at the Oklahoma Medical Foundation, Randy Alvarado, who heads a growing high-tech company, and Peter Boylan, president of an entertainment company that publishes TV Guide.

Gov. Frank Keating praised the campaign, but said Oklahoma also needs other changes to improve its economic standing.

Keating blamed “apostles of poverty” in the Legislature for stalling his education reform and tax-cut measures.

Reid said the advertising contract with Jordan Associates is about $650,000 and the money will come out of the agency's budget.

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