Some ad execs unsure about Indiana's NYC campaign

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Some Indiana advertising executives aren't sure a state agency's new promotional ads in New York City's Times Square is a good use of the money.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. began running 15-second advertisements twice an hour last month to promote the state on the CBS Super Screen in Times Square.

Agency spokeswoman Katelyn Hancock said the state reached a good deal to pay $65,000 to run the "A State that Works" ads through December.

Full cost for that ad time, according to a rate card published by Toronto firm Neutron Media, would top more than $200,000, The Journal Gazette reported.

Hancock said CBS contacted the development agency after another advertiser dropped its spots on the screen.

"CBS was in a hurry to get the slot filled and needed to find someone that wasn't a competitor of their current advertisers," she said. "Thus, they reached out to the IEDC with a really good deal."

Nancy Wright, the CEO of Fort Wayne-based Ferguson Advertising, said she doesn't think the tourists and commuters rushing through Times Square are the right audience for promoting Indiana as a business-friendly state — even at a good price.

"It doesn't seem to be the right target audience to get to the decision-makers," Wright said. "It's still $65,000."

That amount of money would go a long way if spent on print ads in specialty publications routinely read by corporate executives and site selection professionals, Wright said.

Paige Webster, the owner of Arizona-based Webster Global Site Selectors, said it was important for states such as Indiana to seek attention at a time when some states are spending millions of dollars on economic-development marketing campaigns.

"To be honest with you, I think they got a pretty good deal for 65 G's. It escalates the state to the next level," said Webster, who is pitching his company's services to the Indiana development agency.

Money for the ads came from the IEDC's marketing budget, which the General Assembly set at $3 million over two years, Hancock said.

Critics say the ads could be more effective if they targeted Wall Street and not the tourist-heavy Time Square area.

Barry LaBov, founder of Fort Wayne advertising agency LaBov & Beyond, said he doubts that many of the millions of people who see a Times Square message actually have any say in locating a business.

"I would wonder if targeting businesses (directly) would be a little more efficient," he said.


  • ?
    an EXTREME waste of money
  • Photo Opp
    My skeptical side sees the busy body that devised this ad campaign standing in front of the ad for a picture that he will put on his desk as a trophy. That is about the only value I can see in the campaign.
  • Indiana Ad Execs?
    Sifting through all the negative comments, I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but ironically, Indiana has lost a majority of its corporate headquarters and financial institutions in the past 20 years—and consequently, we don't really have an advertising industry here either.
  • Really?
    I have traveled frequently to Manhattan for business over the past several years. While I typically stay on or near Times Square, all business is conducted at a substantial distance from there. There is no way that local "movers and shakers" will ever set foot in Times Square. Are we trying to get the tourist's attention? That's better accomplished as either the Naked Cowboy or any of numerous cartoon characters. This is an absurd waste of money, but most of what Mr. Pence puts forth is all smoke and mirrors...
  • NYC
    Putting myself in in the good people of NY and seeing the ad for the first time thinking.....wow, we should visit Indiana right now and move our business!!!! Suspect most employees would respond..."right on" then ask what drug are you on.
  • only time that this state ever 'worked'
    Governor O'Bannon was the only leader who ever did anything for the ordinary working people, when he lowered the gasoline tax for a few months. Of course, the right-wingers hated him for that. The state "works" all right, only for multimillionaires and multibillionaires. For them, it works extremely well.
  • A State that Works?
    Well, it seems that Gov Pence (choke,)who followed in the steps of Mitch Daniels. Daniels appointed Purdue's Board of Trustees and then was 'shocked and honored' when given the university's president's position when his eight years were up. This state is only about twenty years behind the states that even surround it. Corruption is rampant and nominates a GOP senatorial candidate that think that rape is God's will. No surprise that KKK had a major following during its reign of terror. the only time that this state ever 'worked' was when the late Gov O'Bannon was in office.

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