‘Pure Washtenaw’ Campaign an Awesome Idea

Lauren Silverman
Friday, November 6, 2009
The Farmer's Market in Kerrytown (Photo by John Hritz)

The Farmer's Market in Kerrytown (Photo by John Hritz)

A fellow Gen Y-er named Kate Rose has a great idea for keeping young people in Michigan.

A recent graduate of MSU and current Google employee, Rose has been blogging about how Ann Arbor can attract young people like herself and recently proposed a “Pure Washtenaw” campaign.

Before I tell you about her idea, you should know a little bit about what spurred it: the super successful “Pure Michigan” campaign, run by the Michigan Economic Development. As Rose points out, these campaigns have been ranked by Forbes as one of the best tourism campaigns of all time.

I got the chance to speak with Dave Lorenz, who’s behind the Pure Michigan campaign at Travel Michigan (stay tuned because you will hear some of my interview with him in an upcoming piece on the series). He said that for every dollar spent on the Pure Michigan Campaign, they have been able to bring back $2.86 to the state tax treasury. That’s impressive, especially when you consider that’s only the tax dollars coming in, and there’s millions of dollars being spent in private sector places like hotels and gas stations all throughout the state.

The Pure Michigan campaign hasn’t only been successful in attracting tourists and bringing in cash for the state — it has also made people proud to be Michiganders.

“It is reminding people why they chose to live here and it is making them proud to live here,” says Lorenz.

Okay, so if the Pure Michigan Campaign is working so well, why not go a step further and create a campaign to show young people why they should stay and live in Washtenaw County? Rose came up with a great list of places that could be featured in the ads:

Sidetrack and Frenchie's in Yspilanti (Photo by F Delventhal)

Sidetrack and Frenchie's in Yspilanti (Photo by F Delventhal)

• Sidetracks

• Arbor Brewing Company

• Elks Lodge

• Nichols Arboretum

• Planet Rock

• Corner Brewery

• Wazoo Records

• Hollerfest

• Ted Belding’s quarterly parties

• Gallup Park/Argo Livery/The Huron/city parks

• Alley Bar/8 Ball/dive bars

• Shadow Art Fair

• Kerrytown/Farmer’s Market/Zingerman’s

• Eve Restaurant

• Midnight movies at the State Theater Yellow Barn

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