New brand for state of Indiana unveiled

(WISH Photo/David Barras)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Michigan is pure, Illinois the land of Lincoln. Now the Hoosier state has become “Honest to Goodness Indiana.”

That’s the new brand unveiled Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Tourism.

But are Hoosiers buying what they’re selling? Allan Armstrong hadn’t heard about the new brand, but when 24-Hour News 8 asked him if it would get him to travel the state he said, “Well, I’d have to see what they are promoting in there. But yeah, I like it. I like it.”

Unveiled Wednesday, it is more than just a simple phrase.

“The time is right to begin to tell the under-told stories of our state,” said Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

Replacing the 8-year-old “restart your engines,” it is designed to have a much broader appeal and will be the cornerstone of a tourism marketing campaign in print ads, on billboards and on television.

“Research told us that it needed to typify our welcoming nature and express warmth, authenticity, honest experiences and discovery,” Mark Newman, executive director of the Indiana Department of Tourism, said.

Don’t confuse this with efforts to lure conventions and the thousands who show up in Indianapolis for special events. Honest to Goodness Indiana is designed to get people to tour the rest of the state.

Tim Wheeler, walking downtown Indianapolis Wednesday, told 24-Hour News 8, “until it warms up a little bit, I’m only going to tour … southern Indiana.”

There are billions of dollars at stake with the new brand.

“71 million visitors come to our state each year,” said Lt. Gov. Ellspermann. “They spend $10 billion dollars.”

It makes tourism the sixth largest industry in Indiana. The phrase and campaign, which took nine months and cost about $100,000 to develop, will roll out over the next few months.

“I like the brand. It looks really good. It’s honest to goodness. Very good,” said Allison Martin Brooks when she first saw the new brand.

The state will spend about a $1 million on its media campaign, targeting two big population centers. One, inside the state, is Indianapolis. The other will be outside the state, but hasn’t been decided.

WISH-TV’s Facebook fans had a lot to say about the new slogan, and much of the comments were negative. Click here to weigh in on Facebook.

To view the Honest to Goodness Indiana logo click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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