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Those "Pure Michigan" ads are paying off

A screen capture of a Pure Michigan commercial.
A screen capture of a Pure Michigan commercial.

The Pure Michigan advertising campaign helped fill state tax coffers again last year.

Michigan has invested heavily in an effort to boost tourism in recent years. And the commercials, which are voiced by actor Tim Allen, and often feature scenic shots of lake vistas or Detroit nightlife, are getting through to people.

Michelle Grinnell is the public relations manager for Pure Michigan. She says the Pure Michigan brand connects with people.

"If you listen to the spots, we're not directly saying come take a trip in Michigan, but we're evoking the kinds of emotions and experiences you can have here in Michigan, and people are very compelled by that."

Grinnell says, "For 2013, we spent about $13 million on out-of-state advertising, and those 4 million trips that were generated as a result of that brought about $86 million of tax revenue into the state."

Grinnell is citing new data released this week from the Longwoods International Research firm. The $1.2 billion spent by out-of-state visitors is a new record.

The state has plans to keep the campaign growing. The 2014 budget was increased by $4 million, to $29 million.

Grinnell says the extra money will target international markets, including a major investment in the Toronto area.

Pure Michigan will also make its first-ever national network TV ad buy.