Fellas, Bill Kurtis Wants You to Go on a Mancation to Illinois With Him

News veteran's tourism spots rally the bros

Legendary anchorman Bill Kurtis is a man's man. Just ask Ron Burgundy … or the Illinois Office of Tourism.

A new campaign from JWT Chicago features Kurtis, a veteran Chicago journalist best known today for hosting cable crime shows like Investigative Reports, Cold Case Files and American Justice. This time we see a new side of Kurtis, pitching his home state as an ideal destination for "mancations"—getaways that focus on stock car driving, gambling and—wait, wait… don't tell me—golf.

These trips are cast as reciprocation for womanly leisure activities like book clubs, because, the argument goes, if a guy suffers in the name of love through a sentimental novel, he should be rewarded.

Kurtis oozes charisma, and the message is certainly more down to earth than the zany miniature replica of Abraham Lincoln the state has been using to appeal to potential visitors. The world didn't really need another advertising portmanteau, but the real risk for the brand is that Kurtis's outsized personality eclipses a concept that, at its core, doesn't add much new to the resurgent trend of testosterone-drenched advertising

Then again, if a person in a bear suit playing a bugle comes standard with vacations to Illinois, sign me up.


Agency: JWT, Chicago

Executive Creative Director: Dan Bruce

Creative Director, Art Director: Terra Hambly

Copywriter: Mike Beamer

Group Managing Director: Erin Clark

Account Director: Sarah Brick

Account Executive: Kyle Piazza

Production and Postproduction:

Director: Dan Bruce

Production Company: One

Executive Producer: Lisa Masseur

Senior Producer: Sarah Slevin

Line Producer: Alison Ginsburg

Director of Photography: Kyle Bainter

Editing Company: Optimus

Producer: Tracy Spera

Editor: Craig Lewandowski

Assistant Editor: Ben Winter

Audio, Sound Design: Marina Bacci

Logo Animation: Tyler Nelson

Explosion Animation: BlinkFarm