‘Pure Michigan’ Campaign Enters Its Second Decade [Video]
With its soothing music and the deep tenor of Tim Allen's voice urging viewers to come experience 'Pure Michigan', the state's award winning ad campaign is now ten years old.
'Pure Michigan' has spawned parody ads and license plate slogans, but as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The campaign was first pitched as 'Find Your True North' by the McCann agency out of Detroit, but according to Crain's Business, that left Michigan's Travel Agency cold. So they came up with 'Pure Michigan' and it became an iconic series of advertisements that aired nationwide.
And the voice of the campaign Tim Allen almost ditched the campaign after he was asked to do his initial reading over. He shared the story in Ad Age in 2009:
I was filming "Wild Hogs" [in 2006] when I started doing them, and this director was directing me [over the phone] like I had never done it, and I took offense to that. We were doing this phone patch, and I was in a hurry and telling him I got it, and he said, "No you don't, Mr. Allen." But he knew what he was doing and brought my voice to a place that I wish some directors would do with me as an actor. He kept pushing it and pulling it back saying it sounds too phony and too disc jockey. I have done voice-overs, but never like this, where I clearly just used the best parts of my pipes. I'm proudest of some of that work more than anything else.
Travel Michigan, who launched the campaign in 2007, told Crain's the ads resulted in millions of trips to Michigan and one billion dollars in spending in the last year alone.
The music used in the ads is the title them from the movie 'Cider House Rules', composed by Rachel Portman. The theme earned an Academy Award nomination in 1999.
We all have a favorite 'Pure Michigan' ad. Here are a couple of mine.
It's hard to beat Michigan's glorious falls, so this one's an obvious.
I also like this one, that encourages exploring the back roads, which is kind of a hobby of mine. You'll notice the campaign has begun to move away from the 'Cider House Rules' music in this recent ad.