Billy Joel boosts Long Island in New York State summer tourism ad campaign
Call it a New York State State of Mind.
The Billy Joel classic and the man himself will be part of the New York State tourism summer ad campaign that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plans to unveil at a news conference Wednesday during the state tourism summit in Manhattan.
"New York is my home -- there's no place like it in the world," Joel says in the 30-second video spot. "My favorite place is Long Island. It's an endless beach from Long Beach to Montauk to Long Island Sound, with incredible fishing, Teddy Roosevelt's home and the first port in the U.S."
The ad includes shots of numerous Long Island beaches, the Montauk Point Lighthouse and, finally, Joel performing "New York State of Mind" onstage at Madison Square Garden.
Joel has never appeared in an American ad before but agreed to be part of the tourism campaign as a favor to his friend Cuomo, according to an administration official. In the past year, Cuomo and Joel have worked together cleaning up Oyster Bay and honoring firefighters killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Joel performed at Cuomo's 56th birthday party last year, and last week Cuomo took time to tweet a birthday greeting to Joel before his 65th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden.
Joel's ad is one of a series showcasing famous New Yorkers talking about various parts of the state that will air in New York and in other markets around the country.
"Billy is, in many ways, New York's favorite son," Cuomo said in December, when Joel was honored by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. "For the country to recognize him as one of the nation's best, for his talent and his citizenship, is a great affirmation for him and for the state of New York."