New campaign shows off southern Utah backdrop for ‘The Lone Ranger’

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ST. GEORGE, Utah – Utah's scenic view have been the backdrop for several major motion pictures. Now, the state office of tourism is teaming up with Hollywood to get moviegoers to see the sets in real life.

This week, the Utah Office of Tourism debuted a new commercial featuring shots from Disney Pictures' "The Lone Ranger," which was shot in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

"We want to call people to action," says Utah State Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding Director Vicki Varlea. "We want them to see 'The Lone Ranger' and we want them to visit Utah."

Varela says the ad is part of a partnership between Disney and the state, aimed at promoting the national parks used as The Ranger and Tonto's backdrops.

"There hasn't been a more spectacular set of photographs of Utah in a film for many, many years," says Varela. "So it's the combination of, we like Disney, We like Lone Ranger, and we love the fact that they're showing off out iconic landscapes."

Tourism teaming up with entertainment is also going on in southern Utah, where local tourism directors announced a partnership with music duo "The Piano Guys." The pair's online music videos feature southern Utah's red rocks. St. George Tourism Office Internet Marketing Director Paul Jewkes says it was the perfect way to bring those backdrops to life.

"All the comments on the videos are always, 'The music is so amazing and so is the scenery, tell us more about where you’re shooting,'" says Jewkes. "So then we can kind of say, "It's in our backyard."

The St. George tourism office will use the musicians' music in advertisements and in turn the duo will promote the local attractions.

The State Office of Tourism says entertainment is just another way of getting the word out about the great places to visit in our state. They'll be monitoring the return on investment and say if it goes well, other partnerships may come in the future.

Disney Pictures' "The Lone Ranger" hits theaters July 3.