Three new “Middle of Everything” summer TV spots feature one-of-a-kind adventures and attractions around the state including Chicago, Southern Illinois, and the Great River Road.
CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker along with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Office of Tourism (IOT) announced the launch of three new TV ads as part of its tourism campaign, “Middle of Everything,” starring Illinois native and Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress and director Jane Lynch. The summer campaign features a catchy new song performed by Lynch that promotes the diverse attractions, natural wonders, and outdoor experiences that can only be found in Illinois.
“Our ‘Middle of Everything’ campaign has been a resounding success – bringing in millions of visitors and generating $1 billion in revenue,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With Illinois native Jane Lynch as our shining star and spokesperson, I have no doubt that we will have a record-breaking year for our tourism industry. Jane, thank you for your partnership as we show the world all that the Land of Lincoln has to offer.”
“Through this administration’s work uplifting Illinois’ Main Street corridors, I have seen first-hand how there is so much to love about our state,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “From our vibrant communities to natural treasures, landmarks, and attractions, the people and places that make Illinois special deserve to be seen and celebrated. The ‘Middle of Everything’ campaign is doing just that, by shining a light on the gems of Illinois. We are ensuring all have a roadmap to fall in love with this state and the diverse regions that are core to who we are.”
“It’s been an absolute joy to bring to life the ‘Middle of Everything’ campaign in new and exciting ways,” said Jane Lynch. “Being able to share my passion for all things Illinois comes naturally, and getting to meet and work with so many inspiring people and unique businesses across the state is an honor.”
The new summer ad spots are currently airing in 22 total media markets, on TV across Illinois, seven neighboring states, and on cable TV nationwide. For the first time, the spots will make their way to the global stage with the introduction of the Toronto, Canada market. The 2023 “Middle of Everything” ad campaign builds upon the successful inaugural campaign from 2022, which spotlights Illinois as the center of culture, food, outdoor adventures, architecture, history and more.
“The ‘Middle of Everything’ is a first-of-its-kind campaign that shows international, domestic, and local visitors why Illinois is truly at the center of it all,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “By showcasing exciting outdoor adventures, vibrant cities, charming small towns and experiences across the state, we are not only attracting visitors but also driving economic growth and supporting jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors.”
The inaugural “Middle of Everything” campaign launched in 2022 led to an additional 2 million trips equaling an additional $1 billion spent in Illinois hotels, restaurants, small businesses, and attractions, according to data from Longwoods International. Additionally, every $1 spent on the campaign equated to $91 in visitor spending while generating $10 in state and local tax revenue for every dollar spent – an enormous return on investment.
Locations featured in the new summer spots span from Chicago to Southern Illinois and bring to life unique destinations along the Great River Road including Galena, Moline, Savanna and Nebo. The ads highlight one-of-a-kind lodging like Rocky Comfort Cabins in Makanda and Harpole’s Heartland Lodge in Nebo, as well as thrilling outdoor activities like hiking through Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna and the Shawnee National Forest. They also showcase authentic visitor experiences at small businesses that are part of the state’s Illinois Made program, including: Virtue Restaurant in Chicago, Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch in Makanda and 17th Street BBQ in Murphysboro.
In addition to TV ads, the award-winning campaign will also appear in local, regional, and national digital, print and out-of-home media including O’Hare International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Times Square in New York.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.