Growing Pure Michigan Campaign Wins 10th Mercury Award

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The travel and tourism industry generated $17.2 billion in Michigan last year and helped create an estimated 152,600 jobs statewide.

LANSING – The National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) this week honored Pure Michigan with its 10th Mercury Award in five years. This year’s win was for Best State Tourism Radio Advertising. 

“This latest national recognition demonstrates once again the strength of the Pure Michigan brand, and why we are expanding it to encompass all of our state branding efforts,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). 

The MEDC developed and manages the Pure Michigan campaign, ranked as one of the 10 best destination brands ever by Forbes Magazine. 

One of the first pieces of legislation signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder provided a $25 million per year source of funding to support Pure Michigan advertising, marketing and communications efforts. Since then, additional efforts have been made to expand the Pure Michigan brand, including the launch of the Pure Michigan Business Connect – a $3 billion effort to link businesses with resources – as well as the title sponsorship of the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Michigan International Speedway. 

This is the fourth year in a row the Pure Michigan campaign was recognized with the Best State Tourism Radio Advertising Award by NCSTD. Since 2007, the campaign has been recognized with a total of 10 Mercury Awards, including Best State Tourism Television Commercials (2010/2007), Best State Tourism Welcome Center Program (2010), Best State Tourism Co-op (Partnership) program (2010), Best State Tourism Niche Marketing (2009), and Best State Tourism Advertising Campaign (2007). 

The Pure Michigan radio ads, which can be heard here, are aired statewide and regionally in states including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Featured radio ads this year included Games on the GrassWater and Gone Fishin’

“As we continue our efforts to promote Michigan as a national tourism destination, it is a thrill that our colleagues and competitors within the tourism industry have recognized these efforts once again,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President for Travel Michigan, part of the MEDC. 

The Mercury Awards is a program created by the NCSTD to recognize its members for excellence and creative accomplishment in state tourism marketing and promotion, and to inspire the continued development of destination marketing and promotion programs. 

The Pure Michigan campaign, created in 2006, has helped highlight Michigan as a national tourism destination. 2010 saw spending by out-of-state visitors increase 21 percent and surpass that of Michigan residents for the first time. The travel and tourism industry generated $17.2 billion in Michigan last year and helped create an estimated 152,600 jobs statewide. 

Travel Michigan, part 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

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.