The new Middle of Everything ad campaign spotlights Illinois as a hub for culture, food, outdoor adventure, architecture, history and more to attract visitors and accelerate the state’s tourism recovery
CHICAGO, IL-(Effingham Radio)-Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) at the Shedd Aquarium to launch the state’s new “Middle of Everything” tourism campaign, starring the Illinois-born, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress and newcomer York Times bestselling author Jane Lynch, who makes her directorial debut with the campaign’s new TV spots.
The ads will run in 20 markets in Illinois and seven neighboring states, and will be shown on cable television nationwide. A Spanish language ad will also be aired in the Chicago market. Click HERE to view the ads and other media content for “Mitte in Whole”.
Middle of Everything highlights Illinois as a center for culture, food, history, architecture, nightlife and natural wonders – full of experiences for visitors to discover. A graduate of Chicago’s famed Second City and Steppenwolf Theater, Lynch brings her comedic panache and energy to advertising, along with a deep-rooted passion for promoting her home state. Production of the television commercial was a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) project with a diverse cast of Illinois actors.
“We are thrilled to be working with Illinois-based Jane Lynch on this new tourism campaign, the perfect ambassador to promote our state,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “This campaign is a significant next step in supporting our state’s tourism recovery, and is positioning Illinois for future growth and prosperity for our entire state to rally around – helping our economy, growing taxes and people gets back to work. As tourists prepare for a busy summer travel season, we welcome visitors from near and far so they can find themselves in the middle of all Illinois has to offer.”
In “In the Middle of It All,” Lynch is Illinois’ official tour guide, pointing out famous landmarks in Chicago, Springfield, historic Route 66 and the Garden of the Gods in southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest.
The new TV spots showcase authentic Illinois experiences and destinations to discover across the state. Locations include the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield and the Grafton Sky Tour, as well as unique Chicago experiences like exploring the Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium and setting sail on a Tall Ship Windy Boat.
“I have enjoyed every minute of working on this project to promote tourism in my home state and am so proud that it is finally coming to life.” said Jane Lynch. “I am grateful for Governor Pritzker’s enthusiasm and support for this new Illinois Tourism marketing campaign. We share the same passion for Illinois, its people, its culture and the wonderful attractions throughout the state.
The $30.3 million campaign is a critical next step in the state’s efforts to accelerate the recovery of Illinois’ tourism and hospitality industry — a key contributor to the state’s economy, which had more than 600,000 statewide before the pandemic people employed.
“Illinois is filled with amazing attractions and unique destinations—from world-class cultural institutions and world-class architecture to outdoor adventures and historical sites. We can’t wait to share the wonders of Illinois with visitors from across the country and around the world.” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Tourism is a major driver of Illinois’ economy, and the ‘Middle of Everything’ campaign will help us welcome even more visitors to Illinois, who will help support our distinctive small businesses, welcoming hotels and world-class restaurants in the area whole state.”
“We have a beautiful state with some of the best restaurants, hotels and attractions in the state. I’m glad Governor Pritzker is starting this campaign to tell this story,” said Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “I look forward to welcoming tourists from across the country to Wrigley Field and Lincoln Park this summer and I know they will love it.”
“Investing in this compelling tourism campaign enables Illinois to compete in the regional, national and global markets to attract travelers to visit our great state,” said Rep. Lamont J. Robinson, Chair of the House Tourism Committee (D-Chicago). “Tourists spend their dollars in every corner of our state, creating jobs with every trip.”
“The launch of the Illinois Middle of Everything tourism campaign will inspire renewed enthusiasm to attract visitors to all four corners of Illinois while helping to preserve and restore jobs in the state’s hospitality, travel and tourism industries.” said Dave Herrell, Chair of the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (ICCVB) and President and CEO of Visit Quad Cities. “We are grateful to Governor Pritzker for his unwavering leadership and commitment to tourism and destinations across the state.”
“Illinois is home to world-class attractions, outdoor experiences, big city adventures and small-town charm,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Westchester). “We are excited to share all that Illinois has to offer with visitors from near and far, which will help spur the tourism and hospitality industry while bringing revenue to Illinois businesses.”
“Illinois has so many treasures, and that is why the General Council has made telling this story a priority in our budget planning,” said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “I want to thank Governor Pritzker for his leadership in developing a tourism campaign that will draw attention across the country. Whether it’s one of my favorites, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home, or the Lake of Egypt where my family spent a wonderful spring break, the whole family is sure to leave lasting memories.”
“So many people are unaware of the beautiful landscape we have in Illinois and this campaign is a huge step forward in changing that.” said Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “Between all of our beautiful state parks, vast Shawnee National Forest, and our amazing lakes and rivers, I look forward to welcoming adventurers from across the country to Southern Illinois.”
Starting this week, the new ads will run in eight states, targeting travelers in the Midwest markets on television and online in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Kentucky. The ads will also air nationally on cable television beginning April 25.
The Lynch campaign will also appear in local, regional and national digital and print media, as well as on highway billboards, bus signage and murals. These include acquiring regional transportation hubs in Atlanta and San Francisco, a digital billboard in Times Square, and other promotional activities that reinforce the campaign at events such as the Chicago Pride Parade, the Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway Madison, IL and more.
Lynch was born in Evergreen Park and raised in Dolton. He graduated from Illinois State University in Bloomington and spent 15 years in Chicago, where he acted in the Steppenwolf Theater Company and later The Second City Comedy Club. Jane Lynch is a five-time Emmy, two-time SAG, and Golden Globe winner. She has starred in popular films and TV shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Glee, and is currently co-starring in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl in New York City. Jane Lynch joined the Chicago production company STORY in 2019 as director of advertising projects.
For more trip ideas and itineraries, and to download a guide from Jane Lynch’s Favorite Places in Illinois, visit: Enjoyillinois.com/Middleofeverything