AP News

Ad campaign aims to get businesses to move to Wis.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker and state economic development leaders on Wednesday unveiled a new "In Wisconsin" ad campaign aimed at getting companies to move to the state and increase their business there.

The $500,000 ad campaign specifically targets companies and site selectors in Illinois and the Twin Cities. It includes print, online and billboard ads starting next week and will run through at least December.

Walker, in a news conference at Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. headquarters, said the campaign is designed to help create private sector jobs by showing other businesses what the state has to offer.

Walker promised both in 2010 during his run for governor and in this summer's recall campaign that he would create 250,000 private sector jobs by 2015, but the state is not on pace to reach that goal.

Creating the semi-private WEDC was one of Walker's highest priorities, and first actions, of the Republican-controlled Legislature last year.

Paul Jadin, the head of WEDC who earlier this month announced he was resigning, said the ad campaign is part of a larger effort to bolster Wisconsin's business environment.

Part of the new initiative includes the launch of a website, inwisconsin.com, designed to help businesses looking for information about starting, moving or growing jobs in Wisconsin.

The new brand centers around a logo that features an image of Wisconsin with the word "in" inside it. That logo is then modified for each of five companies selected to highlight the campaign.

For example, on ads featuring trucking company Schneider National, the logo has the word "driven" above the "In Wisconsin" image. The other four companies being used in the campaign are organic dairy farmer cooperative Organic Valley, industrial automation firm Rockwell Automation, bike manufacturer Trek Bicycle Corp., and renewable resources company Virent.

The new ad and branding campaign was designed over the past nine months by Nelson Schmidt Inc. of Milwaukee and Madison.

WEDC plans to use $500,000 of its annual $2 million marketing budget on the effort.

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