Chicago and Illinois have been part of advertising campaigns from other states – Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin – in recent years. Several weeks ago, a Chicago group countered with a full page ad in the Dallas Morning News:
World Business Chicago, the city’s public-private economic development arm, purchased the print ad, which opens with “Dear Texas” before jumping into reasons companies should consider moving north. It cites the Midwest city’s startup ecosystem, attraction of tech and engineering graduates and a top-ranked logistics and transportation sector as strengths.
Then it hones in on what it perceives as Texas’ new weakness.
“In Chicago, we believe in every person’s right to vote, protecting reproductive rights and science to fight COVID-19,″ the ad states.
“We believe that the values of the city you are doing business in matters more than ever before,” World Business Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht told Bloomberg News Friday.
So goes on the ongoing battle between different cities and states in the United States with sizable differences. Certain locations stand out as outliers for the two sides; places like California, New York City, and Chicago for liberals and Texas, Florida, and other Southern locations for conservatives. Certain places do have sizable differences in culture and character but are they as easy to reduce to stereotype as their opponents often do? Many Americans live in more in between spaces – such as suburbs – compared to the ideal type locations often discussed.
The real question in all of this is whether such marketing campaigns work. Would a business or resident in Texas or Dallas see this ad and then make a move to Chicago? What factors prompt people and organizations to move? Multiple features of Chicago mentioned in the article could matter: human capital, a central location, a particular culture, certain regulations. Texas’ new abortion restrictions seem to have fired up many and some companies have announced plans to help their employees in Texas. At the same time, moving is not an easy task. Texas, like most places, has its own appealing factors.
Ultimately, is such marketing more about dunking on the opponent? I would be interested in checking back in with World Business Chicago to see how the advertising worked out.