Indiana moving away from “Illinoyed” campaign to attract businesses?

Indiana continues campaigns to catch the attention of Illinois firms but it may soon take a different tone:

For three years, in an economic development strategy aimed squarely at jobs and revenue in higher-tax states, Indiana has been trying to poach Illinois businesses. While they say the tactic has succeeded wildly, officials in Illinois say the impact of cross-border moves largely has been a wash, more political theater than anything substantive…

Kelly Harrington Nicholl, head of marketing at the development corporation since 2009, is the woman behind Indiana’s most memorably catty catchphrases: “Illinoyed” and “Stillinoyed.” But after years of poking fun at its fiscally challenged neighbor, Indiana is about to soften its tone. “We’re not going to beat up on Chicago anymore,” Smith says.

This means that a cluster of billboards along I-90 cautioning northbound drivers that higher taxes lie ahead will come down soon, Nicholl says. “It’s time to play nice,” she says. She declines to say whether Illinois’ newly elected Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, has anything to do with it. “There is a sunset to everything.”…

Despite Indiana’s bravado, the number of state-to-state moves are increasing in both directions, according to an analysis of preliminary data by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The data, supplied by New Jersey-based research firm Dun & Bradstreet, show 70 companies in Illinois relocated their entire business or branches of their business to Indiana in 2013, up from 40 in 2012. During the same period, 48 companies in Indiana moved all or portions of their businesses to Illinois, up from 39 in 2012.

The shift in political theater is noteworthy. Did everyone in Indiana get the political things they wanted? While the shift may be due to Rauner’s election, I wonder if it could also be due to (1) the Illinoyed campaign wearing out (marketing campaigns have a limited shelf life before people stop responding and (2) recognition that, according to the data, the campaign has been a wash (even popular lines can’t hold up forever if not supported by evidence). The competition between the states is likely not completely over but it is interesting to consider how Illinois and Indiana might cooperate to enhance the economies of both states…

2 thoughts on “Indiana moving away from “Illinoyed” campaign to attract businesses?

  1. Pingback: Indiana again takes aim at Illinois businesses | Legally Sociable

  2. Pingback: Waiting to hear Chicago suburb advertising lower property tax rates | Legally Sociable

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