My wife recently pointed out--and rather astutely, I might add--the incredible differences in the approaches (and effectiveness) of marketing campaigns for tourism in Wisconsin and Michigan.
The folks at the Michigan Department of Tourism (and their ad agency partners) win awards every year for the TV ads they run--featuring the dulcet tones of Michigan native Tim Allen over beautiful sun-lit shots of sandy beaches, lighthouses, rolling hills of color-drenched fall forests and boats cruising through the waters of pristine lakes. All tagged with the easy to remember (and perfectly fitting) tag line: Pure Michigan. It's the kind of ad campaign that reminds you why you take a vacation--to get away from the stress and strain of everyday life to just enjoy some beautiful peace and quiet.
Compare that to the TV ads produced by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism--which portray us as being a bunch of klutzes. Much was made when David Zucker of Airplane fame was tabbed to direct the ad--which features his favorite "muse":Robert Hays (not a Wisconsin native) in a series of pratfalls involving falling off the dock, falling back onto the dock and getting slapped in the face by a fish. And can you--of the top of your head--tell me what the tag line is from that ad? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (It's "Drop in!"--I had to watch it twice to figure that out myself.) (And nice job by former TV hostess Stephanie Klett to include herself by doing the voiceover work--the 10 viewers she had on Discover Wisconsin are probably happy about that.)
Wisconsin has just as many sandy beaches, lighthouses, rolling hills of color-drenched fall forests and pristine lakes as Michigan does--but you would have no way of knowing that based on what Tourism officials have chosen to promote in their ad campaigns. (On the state site, there are some other ads that apparently run outside of Wisconsin featuring a mock Seinfeld episode--which would have been timely 15-years ago--but is probably lost on a number of viewers today.) Take it from some other people that work in an advertising-driven medium--you aren't selling anything to anybody with your weak attempts at slapstick humor.