This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Nobody Expects The Idaho Acquisition*

Idaho Department Of Commerce

These days it’s tough enough for businesses to navigate the uncertainties of the marketplace, let alone have their own state government get in the way. With recent news about new tax burdens on businesses, Oregon and Washington business owners were restless and fuming.

Seeing the opportunity to take a more involved approach in recruiting business, the Idaho Department of Commerce launched an over-night PR push with Idaho “Love-letters” from Governor Otter to Oregon newspapers.

The response was overwhelming and it became imperative to integrate direct response and online components to transform the heightened awareness into qualified sales leads. Drake Cooper turned around a smart, targeted campaign around the theme of “Just Make The Shift.”

The “Just Make The Shift” messaging communicated Idaho’s stable business environment and lower costs of doing business. At the same time, the tone respected Oregonians and Washingtonians and their love of their state. By simply stating that better opportunities are “closer than you think,” out-of-state business could make a simple shift and save costs on doing business.

The heart of this campaign were the facts and costs associated with doing business in Idaho. In direct response a simple mailer with a pull-out chart lined up all the different costs. Online, the same device was executing using flash. This simple execution reiterated the Just Make the Shift concept by shifting perceptions about business in Idaho.

The combined efforts have expanded into target ads in business pubs and have resulted in the phone ringing with businesses waiting to “make the shift.”

SHOUT OUT:
Sara Chase, Justin Yonk, Josh Mcdannel, Cale Cathey, Sean Young, Amanda Cash-Crowley, Joe Quatrone,

*Strange whenever you talk about government restrictions on business you can’t help but resort to medieval analogies. Thankfully for us, that hyperbole goes as far as classic Monty Python references.