In the wake of news that Michigan’s state government would not be able to afford running their “Pure Michigan” ads this fall, Travel Michigan announced today that Dec. 3 would mark the cancellation of the campaign’s winter advertising unless the state can somehow make up for a huge loss in funding. 2011’s fiscal promotion budget is set at $5 million, a sharp decline from last year’s $17 million.
The “Pure Michigan” campaign, a McCann-Erickson Detroit creation, launched in 2006. During its history, the campaign has won a plethora of awards and acknowledgments including Forbes naming it one of the top 10 greatest tourism promotion campaigns ever created and a USA Today front-page feature calling it one of tourism’s greatest success stories. Despite featuring narration from Michigan-native Tim Allen, the campaign saw an increase of 5 million tourists to Michigan who brought a total of $1.3 billion to Michigan businesses and paid another $93 million in Michigan taxes. In late October, 67% of Michigan voters supported continued funding for the campaign.
George Zimmerman, Travel Michigan’s vice president, feels that there is little time for saving the campaign. “We hope to be advertising Michigan’s wealth of winter activities to potential visitors from Chicago and other key out-of-state markets in Ohio and Indiana, but can only do so if we have our funding resolved by December 3,” he says in a statement. “National Pure Michigan advertising for spring/summer – our biggest tourism season – is scheduled to begin airing in March and must be purchased in January. We cannot move forward with our spring/summer advertising buy unless the legislature provides funding before they adjourn in December. The time for action is now.”