top of page

More posts...

Pure Big Excitement - Collaborating on the 15th Anniversary of "Pure Michigan"

15 years ago the lives of nearly all Michiganders were subtly altered. Perhaps irrevocably so. In the same way a popular jingle or viral dance might make its way through the collective consciousness, we one-by-one became aware of a presence in our media environment. On our televisions. On our car radios. On web banner ads. Someone was talking about Michigan in a new way—with almost cringe-inducing earnestness—and what we heard from that voice was this: "Say 'Yes!' to Michigan" is out. "Pure Michigan" is in.

Of course, the "someone" behind that voice was Tim Allen, and of course Pure Michigan has become known for much more than its omnipresence and its spokesperson's affect of unhinged sincerity. (I jest!) Today the Pure Michigan campaign is known far and wide for its monumental success, having won dozens of advertising awards—far more than any other state—and driving literally billions in visitor spending. In 2021, the 15th anniversary of the campaign, we celebrated Pure Michigan for its longevity as well.

That's where I come in :-)

A series of Michigan-themed travel posters

The wonderful folks at Pure Michigan wanted to celebrate the milestone by collaborating with a Michigan brand, and I was beyond flattered when they approached me.

Eventually we decided that our collaboration would consist of a commemorative collection of my work, which would be adorned with Pure Michigan's official 15 Year Anniversary branding. The collection would be limited to six pieces of artwork, chosen to represent as much of our incredible state as possible. The six chosen locations consisted of:

So three spots in the Lower Peninsula, two spots in the Upper Peninsula, and the literal bridge that links the two :-)

The response was immediate and, to be honest, a bit overwhelming... With features in everything from MLive to Channel 7, I was not adequately prepared for the amount of attention and enthusiasm this campaign would receive, and I remain grateful to everyone who stuck with me through what were at times some unusually lengthy turnarounds on their orders. So many of you were so warm and understanding with the longer fulfillment times, and the kindness I received was one of the best things about this collaboration for me.

On the other hand, it was of course an amazing problem to have, especially since 10% of all proceeds from the sale of these prints benefited Michigan Cares for Tourism, a nonprofit dedicated to helping restore historic, cultural and natural attractions throughout the state. Since its inception in 2013, "MC4T" has provided over $850,000 in labor, equipment and supplies to restoration projects throughout Michigan, experienced by millions of tourists! Very cool.

Volunteers working on a Michigan lighthouse
A few of MC4T's over 3,000 volunteers hard at work for Michigan Tourism. Photo from

It was a bit of a whirlwind at times, but it was an incredible honor to partner with such an iconic, larger-than-life brand as Pure Michigan, and a great opportunity to help support Michigan tourism through MC4T. It also turned out to be tremendous exposure for The Mighty Mitten, as well as invaluable experience for whatever my next big collaboration might be! Maybe it will be Pure Michigan's twentieth anniversary! ;-)


bottom of page