Call of the Wild


I’m not usually a sucker for vacation ads. In fact, they’re usually so predictable and canned that I can’t stand them, let alone am I swayed into acting upon them.

But I’m admitting it here and now that I’m totally in love with the ads. I’ve only seen TV, outdoor (bus wraps) and heard radio, but they are so powerful, hearing them makes me want to drop everything, make a u-turn, and head to Michigan for the weekend. No questions asked. And no looking back.

Since I grew up in Northwest Indiana and now live in Chicago, I’ve always been quite fond of mitten-shaped state, but never so moved by its offerings.

My inner-Home Improvement fan wants to believe this deep affinity for the ads stems from the fact that the voiceover is done by Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor (a.k.a. Tim Allen). But in reality, I think 99% of the kudos should go to the copywriter.

Every time I’m in the car when one of the radio spots comes on, I have to concentrate even harder on my driving because I immediately start daydreaming about streams, cliffs, beaches and oak trees.

The funny thing is that I’ve seen hundreds of commercials for more ‘glamorous’ destinations (no disrespect to the Midwest, of course!) and yet, I can’t remember any of them right now. Nor did they break my concentration or trigger an out-of-character emotional reaction. They were, plain and simple, ads for Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii, etc.

One last thought about the campaign. I think another reason they’re really working is because they address and recognize the basic thrill of ‘getting away.’ There’s something about leaving everything behind for a weekend or two in search of some relaxation that cannot be duplicated or outdone. And I think the agency totally capitalized on that insight.


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