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Pure Michigan Tourism Campaign Brought In $1 Billion In 2011

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A still from a Pure Michigan tourism promotion video.
A still from a Pure Michigan tourism promotion video.

After launching its newest ads for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign earlier this month, the state tourism group Travel Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation revealed the campaign brought in a record $1 billion dollars for state businesses last year.

And on Monday, the state announced a new advertising partnership with Coca Cola, which will include idyllic Michigan scenery plastered all over Coca Cola trucks and vending machines, as well as involvement in the MyCokeRewards program. According to Crain's Detroit, Michigan isn't spending a penny for the partnership.

Toronto-based firm Longwoods International used an online survey to compile data about tourists' spending and perception of Michigan. The 2011 Pure Michigan campaign cost $14.3 million, and according to Michigan Radio, it brought back $4.90 in taxes for each tax dollar spent. It also brought in a record number of out-of-state visitors, 3.2 million, compared to 2 million in 2010.

According to the Longwoods survey, outsiders see a variety of strengths in Michigan, including "beautiful fall colors," being "great for water sports," and the ever-important "not too far away."

But Michigan still isn't seen as a destination for arts and culture, according to the survey -- so we ask, where's the Pure Michigan campaign repping the Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the Cranbrook Institute of Art?

Don't worry, Pure Michigan has it covered: "Say hello to Michigan, where creativity is spilling onto the streets and stages," a radio ad goes. "There's something about the nature of Michigan that makes the art more approachable, the music more soulful and the people more in-tune."

Who does that deep and soothing voice extolling Michigan's virtues belong to, you might ask? It's Michigan-native Tim Allen, of course, whose classic movie work is almost slighted by his new commercial work; he's also the voice behind Campbell's Soup and Chevrolet commercials.

If you need relief from all the state sponsored advertising, take a break with the frequently offensive, always hilarious Pure Michigan spoofs from John Kerfoot. We wonder how many tourism dollars were brought in by his videos highlighting fish flies, construction and the Gibralter Trade Center...

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