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Duhamel to receive nearly half a million dollars for ND tourism work

Josh Duhamel

Movie star and Minot native Josh Duhamel sparked a social media earthquake in August when he spent a week in North Dakota shooting photos and video footage that will be used to promote tourism in the state.

On Wednesday, a state official revealed how much Duhamel is being paid for his work — $475,000 — and stressed he was worth every penny.

"Mr. Duhamel was passionate about getting the best shots possible to help us position North Dakota as a must-see destination and was actively promoting the state via his own social channels during the shoot," said Sara Otte Coleman, director of the tourism division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

Otte Coleman said in the week of the shoot and the week that followed, more than 17.7 million impressions were garnered in social media and publicity for North Dakota. Duhamel's visit captured the attention of media outlets from People.com to CNN and In Touch Weekly.

Otte Coleman said Duhamel's fee was a "hugely discounted rate" compared to what he could secure through other commercial and film projects.

"He is an A-list celebrity who is a genuine ambassador for North Dakota and, again, we feel very fortunate to have worked with him on this project," she said.

She added that while the basic terms of the contract with Duhamel were agreed to in July, the actual paperwork was only recently signed.

Footage shot for the tourism campaign, including scenes set in downtown Fargo, will be used for online videos and the production of television ads.

Photos taken during the shooting will be used to produce print ads and other marketing materials, including the tourism division's 2016 and 2017 Travel Guides.

North Dakota's new tourism campaign will launch in January, and when it does Duhamel will be there for the unveil, Otte Coleman said.

"This partnership will allow North Dakota Tourism, with one of the smallest tourism budgets in the country, to stand out from our competitors," she said.

Dave Olson
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