Robert DeNiro Wants Your Business, So Does Tim Allen

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New York recently unveiled its $140 million advertising campaign aimed at wooing prospective business owners to set up shop in the Empire state.  Dubbed “The New, New York,” the campaign features a series of 30- to 60-second commercials, touting everything from favorable tax policies to a growing technology sector, all under the guise of a business-friendly landscape that has adapted to a changing economy.

The ads are catchy and with a couple using Robert DeNiro as a voiceover, the campaign is sure to generate buzz among companies looking to move or relocate to New York.  But why not Michigan?  Like New York, the state’s economic development corporation has been running its “Pure Michigan” ads for years, leveraging their own high-profile economic ambassador, Michigan native Tim Allen.

It seems like these ad campaigns have the makings of a new celebrity reality TV show.  Joking aside, economic development is big business and so is the brand building that goes along with it.  Cites, municipalities, and business improvement districts across the country all are competing with each other to bring economic development to their respective regions.    

Not all have big ad budgets like New York.  Michigan announced they will be spending $13 million this year on advertising, and even less among other cities.  The proof is in the pudding, however.  Getting people in the proverbial door is the first step to a successful ad strategy.  The back end is the tricky part.  That’s everything from establishing progressive economic policies to tax incentives to offering a high quality of life.

There are many reasons for a company to move or relocate, many of which can be daunting such as the cost to shift an entire company across country.  Either way, the resurging economy may be giving economic development corporations new life in a new economy.   And the winners will certainly have the right mix of both style and substance.

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