Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pure Michigan - "Winter Vignette"

A recent story in the Detroit News took a look at tourism in Michigan and the Pure Michigan ad campaign; who they would target, where the budget stands this year, the increased funding for next year, so forth and so on. Something that I had always wondered about-

Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of the Michigan Snow Sports Industries Association, agrees it has been an effective campaign, but laments that it hasn't included advertising focused on winter activities.

"Our feeling is the campaign is extremely compelling," she said. "However there have not been any winter ads yet. We're feeling kind of left out."

Ask and ye shall receive. (Hat tip to Rosemary's diary that made me think to go check!)

No Tim Allen, but the familiar piano/violin track with some great shots of winter fun mixed with Michigan winter facts: ranked "America's best" snowmobile destination, 3000 miles of cross-country ski trails, other things you may not know. Beautiful cinematography as usual.

This year, the budget is down a bit from last, and it appears they are going to target out-of state markets....

Travel Michigan will use this year's $10 million, down from $13.2 million last year, to broadcast all of last year's ads, as well as four new radio spots.

Although the $3.2 million budget reduction isn't debilitating, it has forced some cutbacks, Zimmerman said. Travel Michigan will not air any TV ads in Michigan this summer, and no in-state ads at all, radio or TV, in the fall, Zimmerman said. The result: 90 percent of the 2008 budget will be dedicated to out-of-state promotions, compared with 80 percent last year.

... but next year we are looking to increase it from $10 million to $60 million. Don't tell Tim, he will raise his fee. Apparently he is important to this endeavor. I mentioned him way back in July, others mention him in e-mails to

The Pure Michigan campaign also includes an award-winning Web site,, which officials say provides evidence that Pure Michigan is working. Hundreds of tourists have logged onto the site for information and to post e-mails saying the ad campaign convinced them to come for a visit.

"When Tim Allen's voice comes through my speakers , it takes everything I have to not go home and pack up immediately," Chris Anderson of Palatine, Ill., wrote in an e-mail last year. "My family is going on vacation in two weeks and we now plan to make a side trip to Michigan. It really is the best ad campaign I have heard.... Tim Allen was a fabulous choice!"

Number one tourism site in the country, according to Hitwise. Just short of 35,000 hits a day. Travel Industry Association of America named it the best state tourism campaign.

We have a win-nah here. Too bad we don't have more money to spend on it this year; the return is phenomenal.

Advocates of higher spending on tourism promotion cite data showing a large return on investment that would incur in the same year.

A 2006 study, conducted by Toronto-based Longwoods International and commissioned by the Motel, Hotel and Resort Association, concluded that spending $30 million annually on a broader promotional campaign could generate $1.24 billion a year in additional economic impact and more than pay for itself through $87.3 million in incremental state tax revenue.

The industry generates an estimated annual economic impact of $18.8 billion, employs more than 200,000 people and produces $1.1 billion in state tax revenue.

So until 2009- if they produce more ads and put them on the web, we will slap them up here. And watch the cable channels - if they buy some national spots on CNN and such, they will get some Michigan exposure.

Beats seeing Arnold and Maria all the time.