Ad campaign tries to tie the knot with businesses
Enterprise Florida Inc. plans to expand its somewhat controversial "tie" themed brand into more prominent venues as part of a privately funded ad campaign intended to attract businesses to the state.
The public-private business recruitment organization is about to unleash a $1.2 million advertising campaign that uses the business brand, which features an orange men's necktie as the "i" in the word Florida.
"We are going to really hit it hard and be where our business audience is," Gray Swoope, president and chief executive officer of Enterprise Florida, told the organization's board Thursday at the Hilton Sandestin.
The ad campaign, which has been directly marketed for a couple of months to business recruiters, is expected to start appearing later this month in magazines such as Businessweek, Fortune, The Economist and Delta Sky.
The campaign also will use social media. A television spot will be produced later this year and is slated to start running on cable networks in cities such as Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Minneapolis, where large numbers of companies, chief operating officers or site-selection consultants are located.
"After a while they'll think Florida is everywhere," said Melissa Medley, Enterprise Florida chief marketing officer. "But it's our job to sell our story."
Since being introduced in January, the brand has drawn some heat for leaving out women by featuring a symbol of male business attire.
The brand is accompanied by the tagline "Florida. The Perfect Climate for Business."
Money for the campaign comes from sources including Florida Power & Light, the Tampa Bay Partnership, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, the Florida Business Development Fund and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.
Swoope said the campaign is a larger financial commitment than the $280,000 a year that has been budgeted in the past for similar national recruitment campaigns.
State lawmakers during the 2013 session turned down a request to include $1.5 million in the state budget for the campaign.
Enterprise Florida had initially proposed using the tie as part of a $4.5 million campaign.