Michigan’s tourism advertising campaigns are pure genius
State tourism associations focus the majority of their advertising budget on neighboring states within a day’s drive of the area. Here in Indiana, we often see advertisements for Cincinnati and Ohio areas, Chicago and Illinois, Kentucky, and our state to the north – Michigan.
Tourism advertising has the significant task of persuading consumers who perhaps have not traveled to the region to make a trip there, sight unseen. In the case of the “Pure Michigan” television and radio ads I have heard, they not only convince me that I should visit there, but they go far beyond that and actually take me there.
Let me explain what elements help to make these ads so great:
- The Voice-over: I don’t know the name of the man who narrates the Michigan tourism ads, but he has a pleasant, soothing voice that instantly makes you feel relaxed, like you’re on vacation, as he describes the scenario and surroundings. It is the perfect tone for these advertisements. I feel like I could listen to him talk all day! Some radio commercials in Indianapolis that play frequently make me want to turn the station right away, but every time a Michigan.org ad comes on, I stop and listen. That’s a true compliment to this narrator.
- The Writing: The copywriting in the Michigan tourism ads is perhaps the most overlooked yet most critical element of the ads. I’d love to meet the writer or writers on the team that created these ads. Even in the radio ads, where no scenery is present, the writing helps to create the scene for you so that you can picture it in your mind. Now that is a special gift. For instance, one summer ad campaign starts, “The perfect summer has a voice. If you listen closely, you can hear it. It whispers, “One more game; one more swim; one more round. And it speaks softly through the cool nights – One more log, one more marshmallow, one more walk along the shore. The perfect summer is waiting. The perfect summer is Pure Michigan…” Listen to this Michigan ad to see what I mean. Here’s another good ad about the beaches of Michigan.
- The Music: The music selections in the Michigan ads coordinate well with the writing and voice-over. The main song has sentimental overtones, like you’re remembering a special moment in your past. Again, it taps into your feeling and emotions, which is a powerful and persuasive thing in an advertisement.
The Scenery: Superb photography and video are key elements in these ads as well, because they help to sell the beauty and wonder of the area, particularly for the television ads. These photos feature panoramic views of the Michigan shoreline, families and friends enjoying time together, and the clean, relaxing feel of the state. Whether the advertising focuses on one specific activity (such as golf), or a general region within the state of Michigan, the scenery helps to set the stage so that the viewer can imagine going there and how they would feel upon visiting.
- The Tagline:The Michigan tourism association has branded itself as “Pure Michigan.” This speaks to the clean, magic and wonder of the state. At the end of every radio or television commercial, the narrator uses the tagline, “You Trip Begins at Michigan.org” I love this tagline, because it essentially tells the consumer — this is where you are going on vacation. It doesn’t ask you to visit. It tells you with certainty. I love this. And in addition, it pushes people to the Michigan.org website to plan their trip. Also genius. They could have just listed the website address, and people may or may not have visited. But telling us not only where we’re going but how we can find more information to start our journey, is great advertising.
My family hasn’t planned our summer trip yet this July, but on the top of my list is to visit Michigan. To convince someone in the advertising field to visit based on the advertising alone says a lot about them. I’ll definitely be checking out michigan.org and downloading the vacation guide to plan my next trip.
When you create an advertisement for your company, think about the elements that work so well in these Michgan tourism ads. While you might not have pristine beaches or award-winning golf courses to promote, you can evoke that emotion that gets to the heart of the consumer, and helps persuade.