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19th August 2013

A multi-million dollar ad campaign to raise awareness of Minnesota's new health insurance exchange, MNsure, is using the characters of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and not just any version of Paul and Babe, but specifically those of the iconic statues downtown Bemidji.

The ads show the folk-heroes getting injured in various scenarios paired with the tagline, “Minnesota, Land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance.”

Some in Bemidji are not pleased by the irreverent use of local statues. “We really treasure those icons," said Bemidji's Mayor Rita Albrecht, "and we've built that brand over many years. So it's frustrating to see that just co-opted away from us in the blink of an eye."

The $9 million campaign which rolls out state-wide beginning today, was created for MNsure by the agency BBDO.

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