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Pure Michigan ads rake in awards, national attention

Michigan is setting the standard for branding the right way and gathering a lot of positive attention while doing so. The Pure Michigan ad campaign continues to win awards and remind people how special the Great Lakes State really is, yet it's still having a hard time finding funding. Now that's Pure Michigan.


PORT HURON, Mich. This state's tourism ads make people feel good enough to cry. They give hope to the jobless and goose bumps to the jaded. Daily they win new fans on Facebook, new followers on Twitter. When they come on the radio, they inspire listeners to turn up the volume.

They even get people to visit Michigan.

The ads are the stuff of "Pure Michigan," a campaign to replace images of gutted cities and shuttered factories with visions of vineyards, lighthouses, waterfalls, sand dunes and the nation's longest fresh water coastline.

Designed to boost out-of-state tourism, Pure Michigan has boosted in-state morale.
"It's given Michiganders something to be proud of a bit of redemption in the eyes of the nation," says Dan McCole, a Michigan State tourism professor.

Pure Michigan is a prime example of state "branding," the process by which a state (or any other place) plants a readily identifiable notion of itself in the national imagination. The goal is to make people visit, move there, do business there, or buy its products.

A branding success such as Pure Michigan, which has made www.michigan.org the most-visited state tourism website,is "not just a marketing campaign," says Mitch Nichols, a Phoenix-based consultant.

"It repositions the very identity of the state."

Read the rest of the story here.

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