The Pure Michigan campaign is designed for the long, long term, the hope being to create a Rust Belt equivalent of "I Heart New York." That effort was launched back when NYC was at a low point and the popular images of Manhattan involved crime, dirt, and even more crime. Today Michigan is in a similar spot: when people think of the state they imagine abandoned factories, cheap aluminum siding, and rusted old cars.
But that analogy might actually point to a problem for the Michigan agencies. New York rebranded itself not just because it launched an ad blitz. Manhattan also actually cleaned up it's act. Crime and pollution really did decrease. Michigan is trying to pull a similar rebranding trick while its traditional economy is still derelict and its steel towns are still impoverished. Now we'll see if almost $100 million in travel advertising can successfully put the tourism cart before the revitalized horse.
[Photo: Doug Coldwell / Wiki Commons]