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Are you ready for the hipness?

Because ready or not, here it comes.

Hipper than I am, not that this is difficult

A rapper, a ballerina and a host of top chefs are among the locals who will be featured in a new Houston image campaign launching next month.

The $425,000 promotional blitz targeting readers of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and even Cooking Light magazine will feature a number of other artists and performers to capitalize on Houston’s growing reputation as a regional culinary and cultural arts capital, city boosters say.

The “Houston Is” campaign will feature such notables as the rap star Bun B, the Houston Ballet’s Nao Kusuzaki and graffiti artist Gonzo247 in the largest effort of its kind in the city’s history in terms of its national reach, said Holly Clapham, vice president of marketing at the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the group behind the effort.

The decision to emphasize dining and cultural arts was based on a 2012 study done by global travel research firm TNS, which found that among the cities with which Houston competes most directly for visitors – Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and New Orleans – Houston ranks No. 1 in the categories of “variety of dining options” and “cultural/performing arts.”

The print ads feature 32 Houstonians, most of whom are in the restaurant and cultural arts communities, in themed group portraits. The campaign also highlights the city’s ethnic diversity.

We heard about this in December. As I said at the time, I’m pretty sure this effort will be more successful than some previous efforts were. We’ll see how it goes.

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