Aztec Ruins National Monument was in online and print advertisements as part of the New Mexico Tourism Department’s marketing campaign, New Mexico
Aztec Ruins National Monument was in online and print advertisements as part of the New Mexico Tourism Department's marketing campaign, New Mexico True. The city is now planning for a one-minute TV commercial under the campaign. (Courtesy of city of Aztec)

AZTEC — It's true — Aztec is going to be on TV.

Aztec City Commissioners last week approved spending $25,000 on a television commercial to promote the city to tourists in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.

The advertisement will air at 8:30 a.m. Sundays in three regional markets — KOB-4 in Albuquerque, K-FOX in Las Cruces and the CW in Lubbock, Texas — and will feature the New Mexico Tourism Department's current marketing campaign, New Mexico True.

The tourism commercial will run during a new, 30-minute TV show called "New Mexico True TV," which launched June 15 and has aired two episodes, one on Silver City and one focused on the southwestern region of the state. The program spotlights cities and regions throughout the state and is geared toward featuring drivable destinations, like Aztec, to tourists in the Four Corners.

The New Mexico True campaign is spearheaded by Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobsen, a Taos native and former marketing director for PepsiCo who was appointed to the position by Gov. Susana Martinez in 2011.

Aztec's City Manager Joshua Ray, Mayor Sally Burbridge and Community Development Director William Homka attended Jacobson's presentation on the campaign on June 10 at San Juan College. That sold them on buying the TV spot to spur greater visitor traffic and showcase Aztec's amenities, like Aztec Ruins National Monument and the historic downtown, to potential tourists.

"New Mexico True is an excellent marketing tool developed by Secretary Jacobson," Ray said in a text message on Thursday. "The city of Aztec is excited to partner with the state to promote the beauty and charm of our community in conjunction with (our) pride for the state."

Ray said he is in negotiations with Bill Lee, the state's tourism director, over a shooting schedule for the commercial, which could be as soon as three weeks away.

"We believe the (cost for the ad) will pay for itself with the increase in tourism to Aztec," Homka wrote in a staff summary report. "We don't feel we could reach the breadth of audience with this type of medium for a better price, which is just under $2,000 per month."

The commercial will be produced by Cliffdweller Digital, a video production and Internet marketing company based in Rio Rancho owned by Richard Holcomb.

"There will be two versions of the commercial that will air 26 times in three television markets all around the state with reach into west Texas and southern Colorado," Holcomb said by phone on Wednesday. "Aztec agreed to be a commercial sponsor of the show (with an TV advertisement) that will air during the show — all about why you'd want to come to Aztec. It's the first time that a show like this is airing in three different markets on the same day."

According to the terms of the contract, Aztec's one-minute ad will air every other week during the Sunday morning show.

Farmington has also signed on to shoot a New Mexico True commercial, opting to create a 30-second commercial that will run each week, Holcomb said.

"Both cities will have two commercials for each city that will rotate," Holcomb said. "Not far off, we'll also be coming to San Juan County to produce actual longer segments that will air in the show."



James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4631 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.