Economic Development, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Travel & Tourism

Grand Rapids sees $206M in spending after 'Pure Michigan' ad

June 8, 2015
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Video: Grand Rapids stars in national Pure Michigan commercial
The Grand River and part of the downtown Grand Rapids skyline, as they appear in a national "Pure Michigan" commercial. Photo via youtube.com

The numbers are in, and Grand Rapids’ participation in the statewide “Pure Michigan” campaign is paying off, to the tune of $206 million in incremental spending last year.

Attracting visitors

Longwoods Intl., the same firm that evaluates the impact of the “Pure Michigan” campaign for the entire state, looked specifically at Grand Rapids, surveying visitors and analyzing the impact on Grand Rapids from its “Pure Michigan” TV commercial that ran in 2014. The ad first ran in 2013. 

Longwoods’ analysis found that the 2014 advertising campaign generated 756,600 incremental visits.

The numbers represent a 42-percent increase in visitors and a 28-percent increase in spending compared to 2013.

Additionally, the study also indicates the campaign is driving between 7-9 percent of overnight travel to the city, in the top range for tourism advertising campaigns.

Investment

A combined total of $1.7 million was invested to air the Grand Rapids TV commercial both nationally and regionally in 2014. The investment was 25 percent more than what was spent in 2013.

The dollars invested in the commercial by Experience Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids’ destination marketing agency, were matched by a grant from the state of Michigan.

“The ‘Pure Michigan’ campaign is one advertising avenue utilized to promote our destination to new audiences, and with these results, we see value in continuing this partnership,” said Janet Korn, SVP, Experience Grand Rapids.

"Halo" effect

In addition to the Grand Rapids study, Longwoods is currently looking at the “halo” effect from tourism advertising campaigns in Michigan and four other states.

For instance, Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids, said early findings from North Dakota demonstrate that "effective tourism advertising" positively impacted consumer perceptions of North Dakota and could potentially have "long-term benefits for broader economic development."

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