Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

Pure Michigan Statewide Sing-along premiers

Rob Bliss & Jeff Barrett, creators of the fantastic Grand Rapids lip dub video premiered their Pure Michigan Statewide Sing-along at halftime of the Lions game on Sunday. It was filmed in 50 Michigan cities in 7 days. It’s a pretty cool travelogue of the Great Lakes State in under 4 minutes.

Check out the finished video below and also don’t miss the behind the scenes blog from

The Daily Michigan: an Absolute Michigan Sponsorship!

Today on The Daily Michigan we’re going to give away a full year’s sponsorship on Absolute Michigan.

The winner will receive our “Category Supporter” sponsorship for their business, nonprofit organization or other website OR the business, nonprofit organization or other website of their choosing. The sponsorship is a $500 value and includes 2 banners that show up in rotation on your chosen category page and on our website, blog and in our emails as well!

Just as with all our sponsorships, the winning business or organization must be located in Michigan or sell Michigan products and you must be registered for The Daily Michigan (use the link below if you’re not already!).

We recognize that this prize may not work for everyone, and for that reason we ask you to take a special step for entry. Between now and midnight on Tuesday, April 24th, please send an email to with your name and a note about the business or organization you want the sponsorship for. We will select at random from all received by next Wednesday!!

Click here to sign up

Google Search Stories: Ypsilanti’s SolarYpsi Project

YouTube and Google have a feature called “Search Stories” about people who are using Google’s search to find new ways of doing things. One of the people they profile is Dave Strenski of Ypsilanti, who you can learn more about in the video below.

Dave and some like-minded individuals created SolarYpsi in 2005 with the hope of making their hometown a solar power destination through tying solar power generation to the electrical grid.

Their web site showcases real-time reporting of electrical production via solar panels, tracking panels are located on top of the Ypsilanti Food Coop, the Riverstreet Bakery, Ypsilanti City Hall and an Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus stop.

Here’s Google’s Search Story Creator in case you want to try your hand. Head over to for more Michigan solar information.


Michigan International Auto Show in Grand Rapids – January 26-29, 2012

Michigan turns 175 Thursday and Absolute Michigan is giving away a whole bunch of prizes to people on our email list to celebrate! One of the items is 2 tickets to the Auto Show – you can sign up for our list at the bottom of this article.

Smile by pairadocs
Smile by pairadocs

The Michigan International Auto Show returns to DeVos Place January 26-29, 2012 with manufacturers from around the world setting up their finest traveling displays. The show is West Michigan’s largest consumer show and offers you a chance to view your next new car with some 300 new vehicles on display. From sedans to vans, SUVs & trucks to hybrids and sports cars. If it rolls on 4 wheels, chances are you’ll see it at the factory representatives from nearly 40 different manufacturers.

“This year, visitors will find vehicles displaying increases in innovations and design, as well as energy efficiency models as the auto industry rises to the challenges placed before it,” says Terry Burns, Executive Director of the Grand Rapids New Car Dealers Association. “New models, new designs and new technologies are helping our industry bring itself back up along a path of recovery as we move into 2012 and beyond.”

A highlight of the show is the Million Dollar Motorway, which is expected to be bigger and better than ever before featuring a variety of high end cars including Bentley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Maserati and Lamborghini, each valued at more than $100,000. There are also exhibits from the Gilmore Car Museum that offer you a chance to take a trip back in automobile history.

Here’s a video from last year’s show to give you an idea of what to expect.

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan. To that end, we are adding an exciting new program featuring giveaways of products and services from all kinds of Michigan businesses. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list - sign up using the form below. We guarantee that we will not share your email address with anyone!
If your business is interested in participating, you can get all the information right here.


2012 North American International Auto Show

The 2012 North American International Auto Show aka the Detroit Auto Show runs January 14-22, 2012 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

2013 Dodge Dart by ChriKett Photography
2013 Dodge Dart by ChriKett Photography

The first Detroit Area Dealer Association (DADA)-managed Detroit Auto Show was held in December 1907 at Riverview Park. In 1987, the show was re-focused as an international event, and 2012 is their 24th annual under the new format. The center of the event are concept cars and exhibitions by car companies from Acura to Volvo and of course Detroit standards like Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC and Lincoln.

Blogs & Social Media from the Detroit Auto Show

Our favorite for coverage this year is mLive’s Detroit Auto Show coverage. They have a look at Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s visit to the show, some concept car highlights from the 2012 floor and the back and forth between Governor Snyder and a Wayne State student. After Snyder issued a call for grads to stay in Michigan, biomed engineering student Ramkumar Annamalai  asked him why if eduction was so important has Michigan seen cuts that remove a lot of what attracts top students.  It’s an interesting exchange that highlights one of the real challenges manufacturing and research in Michigan are facing. You can also get comprehensive reporting from the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.

As usual, you can find unabashed car love with a healthy dose of humor from the  2012 Detroit Auto Show on Jalopnik.  Over at Autoblog they feature podcasts and articles including their Editor’s top 5 picks from the show (spoiler: #1 is the 2013 Ford Fusion which also captured Autoweek Magazine’s coveted Best of Show award). Another source that’s getting more and more relevant is  Autoblog Green who has features on the frighteningly cute Tata, a sub-$19k Prius and the Smart-for-Us urban concept mini-truck pictured right. Pretty much everyone with a blog is covering it of course, from Motor Trend to Popular Mechanics.

The North American International Auto Show has gotten into the social media swing in 2012 with a Facebook page their NAIAS official Twitter. You can also of course dive right in to #NAIAS on Twitter.

Attending the North American International Auto Show

The NAIAS web site has everything you need to know about attending the public show and tomorrow night’s black tie charity preview. If you do attend and take pictures or video, we’d love it if you’d share them with us in the Absolute Michigan Flickr group or shoot us the link to YouTube vids!

Detroit Auto Show Photos

Plymouth Fury!The NAIAS has a nifty virtual show floor.  Christian Kettenbell took the photo at the top and he has a really nice slideshow from 2012. You can see a whole lot more by checking Detroit Auto Show and/or NAIAS on Flickr. The blogs & papers above are another great source of photos of production cars and concepts as well.    If you’d like to step back in time, check out this Detroit News Rearview Mirror feature The Detroit Auto Show: from beer gardens to tabernacles to Cobo Center.

Anything else to add or ask? Post it in the comments!

Detroit Auto Show Videos

You can watch the snarky, kind of slow and frankly down on the auto show 2012 North American International Auto Show Preview from Drive and the un-snarky and faster paced preview from Autoweek TV. Our favorite, however, is this selection of highlights from the Media Preview on the 2012 show floor by Global News ENG Cameraman Ben Jonah. Got other ones you like? Add them in the comments below!

Pure Michigan, Pure Gold?

Michigan has spent $67 million since 2006 to draw more tourists and tourist dollars to the Great Lakes State through the Pure Michigan campaign. Our friends at Bridge Magazine have taken a very interesting and in-depth look at Pure Michigan. The effort appears to be working, with industry officials & analysts pointing to an additional 2 million visitors who wouldn’t otherwise have visited according to the latest data from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Longwoods International.

These visitors have generated $605 million of additional revenue, and between 2009 and 2010, the tourism industry grew by $2 billion, enough to generate an additional 10,000 jobs in Michigan. The campaign also generated $43 million in state tax collections, creating a return on investment (ROI) of $4.32 for each dollar Michigan spent on tourism advertising. Resident leisure travel rose 6.1% to $6.3 billion, and non-resident leisure travel that Pure Michigan ads are targeting rose 21.1% to $6.4 billion, the first time non-resident spending has exceeded Michigan resident spending for leisure travel.

While the state and national economies and overall tourism spending floundered in 2009, Michigan received 2% of all the tourism spending in the United States, good for a rank of 14th nationally, a success many credit to the Pure Michigan advertising campaign. George Zimmermann, VP of Travel Michigan says:

“Most Americans know Florida, California and Hawaii. We are just the opposite. We’ve only done a national campaign for just three years, with a modest budget. Michigan also is starting from a negative image of the Rust Belt, the depressed auto industry and urban decay in Detroit. The image of the state is much more favorable after visitors have seen the Pure Michigan ads.”

We encourage you to read on at Bridge for some other thoughts on the campaign including some criticism from Michael LaFaive of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  They have a second feature that looks at how Pure Michigan stacks up against other state tourism promotion efforts.

One thing is clear, it’s important to agree upon the numbers, because if the ROI is that high, Michigan would be foolish not to continue funding Pure Michigan.

Detroit Design Festival ~ September 21-28, 2011

ddfDetroit Design Festival on FacebookThe inaugural Detroit Design Festival (DDF) starts tomorrow (Wednesday, Sep 21) with a kickoff party from 6-9 PM at New Center Park. DDF is a “crowd-sourced design festival” developed to showcase the talents and abilities Detroit’s creative community.

Over the eight days and nights of DDF—September 21 through September 28—a variety of Design Happenings will take place across at venues across the city of Detroit. The types of happenings will include studio tours, panels and roundtable discussions, fashion shows, and art battles to name a few.

Detroit Creative Corridor Center established the Detroit Design Festival to connect creative practitioners with one another, expose them to new markets and consumers, and of course put on display the creative talent that will help Detroit become a global center of creative innovation.

Art battles??!! Maybe someone can tell us what those are!

The site lists 85 Happenings, all “unfolded” in their blog. Competitions, presentations, panels, roundtables & lectures (Leon Krier next Tuesday sounds great), performances, benefits (25 chefs!), fashion shows, film screenings, cocktail receptions/dinners/parties, tours of all kinds, of art exhibits like Bordertown (cities and borders), Mind the Gap (public design ideas competition for Detroit’s in-between spaces), Woodward Windows (empty storefront windows as galleries) – so many events of so many types at so many venues that it feels like Detroit may be generating some of the same energy that Grand Rapids will be for ArtPrize. Anyone think that the rest of Michigan should jump on board next year and celebrate the positive in all our communities?

Anyway, here’s the video from and we hope you get a chance to check out (and report on) some of the fun of DDF:

DDF - Fathead from Charlie Kelly on Vimeo.

Blogs We Dig: 365 Days of A

model a and cherry orchardThrough the TC Ticker, we learned about a cool project by Jonathan Klinger, PR Manager of Michigan based Hagerty Insurance. They begin:

For the past eight months, the 29 year old has been driving a 1930 Model A as his everyday car. His project, dubbed “365 Days of A,” has him parking his Ford Explorer and Honda Accord and, for one year – with no exceptions for weather or distance – driving the beautiful blue Model A instead.

“It’s something I wanted to do for a few years,” says Klinger, who owns a 1919 Model T and ‘a few other cars.’ “I wanted to show that an old car like this can be driven every day.”

spark advance leverHead over to 365 Days of A to follow Jonathan through the ins (learning to slow down) and outs (fixing what goes wrong) and saga of his Model A experiment from Day 1 (October 13, 2010) to Day 252 (and beyond). Be sure to check out the FAQs for the who, what and where.

The video below looks at how they got the A into shape, and you can see a lot more on their 365 Days of A playlist!

Future Midwest Conference this week in Detroit

Painting A Picture Of Optimism by DetroitDerek Photography
Painting A Picture Of Optimism by DetroitDerek Photography

Later this week (April 27-29) the 3rd annual  Future Midwest Conference kicks off in Detroit. It’s the largest digital business conference in the Midwest and  seeks to accelerate business and cultural transformation by uniting community passions with emerging technologies. In 2011, they’ve selected Eastern Market in Detroit as the conference venue. In this interview, conference co-founder Adrian Pittman explains that:

FutureMidwest is a digital business conference that focuses on the impact of technology in five areas:

  • Integrated marketing: How to integrate digital platforms into a well-rounded marketing mix
  • User experience: How to create an engaging experience across a variety of digital media
  • Mobile: How it’s impacting information exchange and user access and how to utilize it
  • Business Intelligence/Analytics: How to define metrics that matter most and apply them
  • Regional growth: How the Midwest is participating in the information age

future midwest

The conference features 2 full days of presentations, panels and exhibitions about technology, social media and how all of this ties into creating a new future for the Midwest. The 2011 conference debuts  Funded by Night, one-day competition to fund tech startups where 25 companies will create to will compete to win a $100,000 convertible note from two local venture capital firms Detroit Venture Partners and Ludlow Ventures.

Any video with a space cow in it has to be good, and the 2010 conference video is no exception!

Jeff Daniels to star in Chrysler Emigrated from Escanaba commercials

Fresh on the heels of the runaway success of their “Imported from Detroit” campaign starring rapper Eminem, Michigan-based Chrysler announced their new U-series heavy trucks will be promoted by Michigan actor Jeff Daniels in the “Emigrated from Escanaba” campaign.

Chrysler spokeswoman Anita Thawte explained “Mr.  Daniels has starred in numerous Hollywood films and is well known in promoting an Upper Peninsula lifestyle that meshes so well with the power and payload of the U-series.”

The specs of the vehicle are indeed impressive:  a massive 177 sq. ft. hood that can hold 7 deer, a gigantic bed that is rated for 4 tons of pasties and a powerful and eco-friendly V14 diesel that can operate in zero-emission mode when burning maple syrup.

Chrysler is reportedly exploring other concepts including “Smuggled from Saginaw”, “Got a Ride from Grand Rapids” and “Walked over from Washtenaw”.

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Mar 30, 2011: Weird Wednesday: April Fool’s Day – Michigan’s State Holiday?

Apr 1, 2010: Tim Allen co-opts Pure Michigan, declares for Governor

Apr 1, 2009: Bank bailout “tweak” to spur auto industry

Apr 1, 2008: Canadian Freeze Ray wreaks havok on Michigan

Apr 1, 2007: Massive trade sends Legislature, Governor to Guam – things are looking up for Michigan and the Tigers