Posted by: Kath Usitalo | April 1, 2013

Great Lakes State and the NEW! Purex Michigan


Michigan has connected with a second company in a “co-branding” effort according to unconfirmed, unverified and some would say unreliable reports. But that doesn’t deter speculation that Travel Michigan, the official tourism office, may have made an unusual alliance with a company that may wash away any vestiges of competition for the wildly successful promotional Pure Michigan campaign, which was launched in 2006.

UnknownWhile the state has long “partnered” with tourism offices and major attractions such as Mackinac Island, Traverse City and The Henry Ford, its relationship with Coca-Cola in 2012 was its first blatantly commercial hook-up.

Although I don’t drain one of the one billion cans of Coke said to be consumed every day around the globe (plastic and glass bottle consumption are extra), I do admit to being impressed that the Mitten State could warrant the attention of such a big, powerful corporation as Coca-Cola.

Maybe it was the lure of the opportunity to hang a gigantic Coca-Cola logo globe on the Pictured Rocks, hovering above the heads of (I’m guessing) disappointed, pristine-nature-seeking paddlers (is it just me, or does that red orb look like a lawsuit waiting to happen? 1-800-CALL SAM).Unknown-1

Then there’s the ad featuring the monstrous Coca-Cola bottle on the wilderness snowmobile trail (precise location undisclosed).

Although I’m not a snowmobiler, I immediately questioned the wisdom of this promotional approach, beginning with the very sight of that giant bottle of Coke in the path of snowmobiles.

How many sledders have hit that obstacle or, in veering to avoid it, collided with another snowmobiler?


Does that big bottle come with a bottle opener or a tap for a pause that refreshes along the trail?

With all of that snow chilling is no problem but must you bring your own rum and limes or are they provided (off camera, of course)?

Does that big Coke bottle glow in the dark? (If so, why doesn’t the state pepper the darkened streets of the City of Detroit with giant, glowing Coke bottles to replace the missing street lamps?).

Enough about the Coca-Cola partnership. Today’s maybe-news is the new Purex Michigan campaign.

According to unconfirmed reports, Pure Michigan is now collaborating with the PUREX laundry soap company to create a squeaky-clean impression of the state.

imagesAlthough some might say that replacing the “Pure” with “Purex” in Pure Michigan is a corruption beyond the pale, I can think of convincing arguments for such a pairing.¬†For example, Purex detergent will aid many travelers who encounter unsightly stains in their clothing due to:

  • spilled wine stains – splashes happen, and the chances of a stain are great in Michigan, home to more than 100 commercial wineries, according to
  • sloshed beer stains – Michigan is the hip-h0p-happening craft and micro-brew state, with more beer joints (and the occasional overflowing mug) than it has wineries
  • U-Pick accidents – what fruit-picking tourist hasn’t dribbled strawberry, raspberry or blueberry juice on their shirt while picking a peck in the fields?
  • chocolate and gooey fudge melted in pockets, backpacks, etc. in the Fudgie Capital of the U.S.A.
  • pasty eaters who try to chow-down like a miner and manipulate the meat pie with one hand, while leaking ketchup (or, for those so inclined, gravy)
  • an overspray of bug juice while trying to combat the black flies that love the Upper Peninsula
  • wood tick evidence (i.e. blood drawn by the insect)
  • the consequence of bug splats (i.e., black flies, mosquitoes)
  • char from wood fires
  • dust from copper and iron mine tours
  • cola drink residue
  • etc.

Whether or not you agree with the concept of “co-branding” with a company to promote “Pure(x) Michigan,” everyone involved must be patting themselves on their collective backs for the genius behind this (rumored) partnership with a company that might obliterate the stains caused by (among others) the original co-branding partner. Teamwork!

Purex Michigan!Purex_MI_logo_ver_2_4.1.13



  1. Truly hate the thought that Pure will become Purex. That just takes our “Pure” to an un-pure level of commercialism that is less than genuine. I vote to stay with Pure!

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