Biggest-ever Pure Michigan tourism ad campaign begins

Posted on March 19, 2013

Pure Michigan, the state’s award-winning tourism advertising agency, launched its largest-ever national TV ad campaign Monday.

The $13 million campaign, partly funded by cities such as Grand Rapids and destinations such as The Henry Ford in Dearborn, will run through the end of June and will include running TV ads on some 30 networks (for a combined showing of more than 5,000 times a day). The ads focus on the state’s scenic beaches and sunrises, along with activities such as fishing and swimming.

“We are excited to be back on airwaves telling people across the country that their perfect summer vacation can be found right here in Michigan,” George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, said in a release Monday. “With the support of our national partners, we are kicking off Michigan’s largest national advertising campaign to date and working to build on our record-breaking year for tourism in 2012.”

In addition to Grand Rapids and The Henry Ford, Ann Arbor, Mackinac Island and Traverse City contributed a combined $3 million to the advertising effort. This marks the first time Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second largest city, has participated as a partner in the national campaign. Ads featuring the national partners will air beginning April 1.

Michael Bernacchi, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, said partnering with cities is a good idea and that the summer season is by far the most important campaign of the year.

“There’s nowhere to go but upward and forward with this campaign,” Bernacchi said. “It’s extraordinary.”

The national TV ads will run on nearly 30 networks, including CNN, Food Network, the Outdoor Channel, Oxygen, the Travel Channel, the Weather Channel, A & E, Nick at Nite, Bravo and the Golf Channel — and will include ads specific to each partner.

This follows Pure Michigan’s largest-ever regional winter advertising push — $2.24 million — that saw the state’s scenic winter landscape described on billboards and commercials in Michigan and nearby states.

Featured ads in the rotation can be viewed on the Pure Michigan YouTube channel and include: A Simple Sunrise, The Potential of Water, 14 Clubs, Tee Times, Perfect Spot, Gone Fishing, Treasure, Fresh, Perfect Summer and Sand.

Michael Martinez, The Detroit News.