Pure Michigan's First National Campaign Generates Positive ROI

Study Verifies Effectiveness of 2009 Summer Advertising

Feb 04, 2010, 09:34 ET from Travel Michigan

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel Michigan's Pure Michigan advertising campaign continues to deliver a significant return on investment (ROI) according to a recent study conducted by Longwoods International, a research firm specializing in tourism advertising return on investment.

According to the study, the first-ever national Pure Michigan advertising campaign last spring and summer motivated 680,000 new trips to Michigan from outside the Great Lakes region. Those visitors spent $250 million at Michigan businesses last summer as a direct result of the Travel Michigan advertising program. In addition, these new out-of-state visitors paid $17.5 million in state taxes while in Michigan, yielding a $2.23 return on investment for the tourism advertising. Pure Michigan television commercials aired nationally 7,900 times on 15 cable channels in 2009, and they were seen by an estimated 60 million Americans from coast to coast.

"The Pure Michigan campaign is motivating travelers from all over the United States to choose Michigan as a destination, helping diversify and grow our economy," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "Now millions more know about our sandy beaches along America's longest fresh-water coastline, our natural and recreational areas, and the vibrancy and culture of our great cities. The 2009 national Pure Michigan campaign is the first step toward Michigan being recognized as one of America's top vacation destinations."

In addition, the study also determined the effectiveness of the campaign on the regional level. Longwoods International assessed the impact of the 2009 Pure Michigan summer advertising on the residents of the Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Ontario, Canada markets. The focus of the study was to quantify the levels of travel generated by the advertising and the economic impact of that travel. The Pure Michigan campaign was able to improve its regional return on investment from $2.86 since 2004 to $5.34 in 2009.

"Combining our national and regional advertising last spring and summer, the Pure Michigan campaign motivated two million trips to Michigan from out of state last summer, and those new visitors spent more than $500 million at Michigan businesses," said George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan, a business unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "But these very positive results will be fleeting if we do not adequately fund national and regional Pure Michigan advertising in 2010 and beyond."

The total tourism promotion budget for all seasons in 2009 was $30 million, which ranked Michigan as the sixth largest state tourism promotion budget in America. The current appropriation for tourism promotion in 2010 is $5.4 million, which would reduce Michigan's state tourism budget ranking to approximately 42nd in the nation.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan's official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state's tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For Michigan travel news and updates, go to michigan.org.



This report summarizes the results of an Advertising Evaluation study undertaken by Longwoods International to gauge the performance of the 2009 tourism advertising campaign for the State of Michigan.

Background and Method

  • For the 2009 travel year, Travel Michigan rolled out the ‘Pure Michigan’ advertising campaign nationally with the objective of introducing Michigan as a vacation destination to the national audience outside of the Great Lakes region.  The campaign was initially launched in the regional advertising markets in 2006.

  • The campaign ran from the beginning of April to the end of June 2009.

  • A Longwoods R.O. EYE® study was conducted to determine if the campaign was effective in delivering incremental visitors to Michigan between the start of the campaign and the end of the travel year.  The survey was conducted via regionally and nationally-representative online consumer panel. A sample of just over 1,500 U.S. adult travelers residing outside of Michigan’s regional advertising markets (Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Indianapolis) was obtained and a similar sample was obtained for residents of the regional advertising markets.

Summary of Findings

The campaign was effective in delivering incremental travel, traveler spending and state level taxes related to that spending:


In the regional advertising markets, the maturing campaign was able to build on its equity and improve its bottom line impact from an annual average of $2.86 since 2004 to $5.34 in 2009.


For the national campaign the return was $2.23.  This was a very creditable result given the facts that it was the first year of the campaign and it is generally more challenging to attract visitors from longer distances.

                                      Regional Markets*        Rest of Nation
                                      -----------------        --------------
                                   Annual Avg.
                                    2004-2008       2009           2009
                                    ---------       ----           ----
    Advertising Investment         $5,268,600    $4,427,900    $7,822,000
    Incremental Trips                 993,800     1,265,000       681,200
    Incremental Visitor
     Spending                    $214,980,500  $337,746,600  $249,630,000
    Taxes Generated               $15,054,400   $23,642,300   $17,474,100
    Tax Return on Investment            $2.86         $5.34         $2.23
    ------------------------            -----         -----         -----
    *  Region: Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati,
    Dayton, Columbus, St. Louis, and Southern Ontario

These results should also be considered in light of the economic conditions in the United States in 2009 which had a constraining effect on travel and traveler spending.


Kirsten Borgstrom, (517) 335-1871

Jenny Schilp, (248) 225-6744

SOURCE Travel Michigan