The Michigan Marketing Machine

The melodic piano tune, the flyover shots of pristine lakes and charming inns, the images of nice looking people shopping at antiques stores and fly fishing.  It’s time to go to…Michigan.

I’ve never been to Michigan, save for a few stop-overs at the Detroit airport. But now, thanks to the gorgeous, seductive ad campaign created by McCann Detroit for Travel Michigan, I’d like nothing better than to don a straw hat and spend my July on the front porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Michigan, so hard hit by the auto industry downturn, is on a roll, thanks to strong advertising campaigns with different messages.

Last year, the now iconic “Born of Fire” ad for Chrysler, starring Detroit native Eminem and his music, got the country rooting for the Motor City. The award-winning campaign (created by Wieden + Kennedy) extends its shelf life through iterations focused on new product rollouts.

Launched in 2006, the “Pure Michigan” campaign (which has gradually ramped up its ad buys to a national level) paints a broader picture, far beyond the hardscrabble factory town hoping for a comeback, to a quaint, charming state filled with everything one could want in a vacation paradise.

New England is the land of quaint in the summertime.  Any ad that would want to make me go any place else is doing its job. But don’t take my word for it – the campaign brought in $1 billion dollars to the state last year.

Michigan Campaign