Route 66 News

Illinois touts Route 66 to young people in new “Up for Amazing” campaign

Up for Amazing screen shot

The Illinois Office of Tourism recently released its new “Up for Amazing” advertising campaign designed to draw tourists from the millennial generation and Generation X to the state.

Route 66 features prominently in at least two of the 30-second ads. And several other attractions — including Abraham Lincoln sites in Springfield and Chicago’s Willis Tower — are right off the Mother Road.

The Chicago Tribune reported the tourism office liked last year’s “Up for Amazing” ads that sought to appeal to a younger audience. It decided to build on that with an $800,000 budget this year.

The newspaper reported:

The new “Up for Amazing” spring and summer ads will air in 13 Midwestern markets and overseas through July. Fall and winter ads debut in September. The state is spending $15 million to market the campaign globally. ]…]

The campaign includes one 60-second spot that showcases all of Illinois’ charms (Chicago! Starved Rock! Galena! The Cubs!), plus three 30-second spots: one focusing on Chicago, one that spends more time highlighting the rest of the state and one geared toward LGBT travelers. It also includes print advertising, billboards and a revamped website at

Illinois Tourism’s revamped website for Route 66 is nicely done. You may find it here.

Generation X generally is the children born between the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. Millennials are those born after the early ’80s.

Here are two of the domestic ads so far:

This is an international spot:

The Illinois Office of Tourism hadn’t yet uploaded all the ads to its YouTube channel as of Sunday. All four ads were available for view on the Trib’s website, but you may encounter playback problems.

According to Chicago Business Journal, tourism office director Cory Jobe said:

“According to our research, 78 percent of millennials today prefer to learn something when traveling — they value experiences much more than things. Our goal with the new ‘Up For Amazing’ ad campaign is to differentiate from the competition by creating a more engaging, challenging message that acts as a call to action, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in Illinois’ unique cultures and return with amazing new experiences they will feel compelled to share both in person and on social media.”

(Screen-capture image of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac from one of the “Up for Amazing” ads)


One thought on “Illinois touts Route 66 to young people in new “Up for Amazing” campaign

  1. DynoDave

    The tourism site update is nice. But the three day itinerary is rather lacking. I get the idea of providing a quick overview of what 3 days in Illinois might look like. But if you are going to encourage travelers to spend 3 days in Illinois Vs. two, you ought to list more of the things to see and do. There is no where near enough listed on their itinerary to hold people over for that extra day.

    If their assumption about millennials is correct (that they value experiences more than things), then should you be providing a more complete list of those experiences? If I can’t find a complete list on their site, where can I? You risk not mentioning that one thing that might be of great interest to a traveler, by not listing them at all.

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