Gov. Christie and his family have been retired in favor of "regular people" in this summer's tourism ads for the Jersey Shore.


Screen shot from the "Going Strong" commercial (YouTube)

Commercials with the theme "Going Strong" will officially begin running Monday, reports the Wall Street Journal, and will feature shots of surfers, a jogger on the boardwalk, a girl building a sand castle, an older  couple riding bikes and a younger couple in an arcade."See why the Jersey Shore is going strong and start planning your summer getaway today,” says a female narrator.

During the March "Ask the Governor" program Christie had promised that last year's campaign would not be returning. "‘Stronger Than the Storm’ is not coming back, so for all of you who still can’t get the song out of your head, you’ll get a new one in," laughed Christie.

The country band After the Reign, winners of last year's Jersey Shore Soundoff contest, performs their song "Jersey Strong" as the commercial's soundtrack. “Our song pays tribute to the hardships that everyone endured as well as the progress we have made as loud, proud New Jerseyans,” said band member John Stevens, writer of the song. The band is based in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township in Monmouth County.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Economic Development tells the WSJ that $1million in federal funds are paying for the campaign and another $5 million if additional federal Sandy funding is approved.

Despite the repetition of the "Stronger than the storm" campaign, tourism in New Jersey rose last summer to 87.2 million generating $40 billion worth of economic activity according to the state's annual tourism report

The digital part of the campaign began in March according to the Times of Trenton.


Ilya Hemlin and the Associated Press contributed to this report