Looking for an Award-Worthy Campaign? Get Inspired by These IEDC-Winners

December 10, 2014

Trying to think of some award-worthy campaigns that your economic development organization could launch in 2015? What better way to spark your creativity than to look at some of the most creative winners from this year’s IEDC Awards.

Whether through video, social media or good old-fashioned IRL (In-Real-Life) events, these economic developers stood out from the pack for thinking out-of-the box thinking and keeping the following in mind:

Have a Little Humor—Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Video, Silver

While most economic development organization videos showcase “Why we’re the right location for you,” Buffalo decided to turn the question around and ask “Are you right for Buffalo?” The video has a sense of humor about Buffalo’s advantages. For example, it poses these tongue-in-cheek questions: “Before you do anything drastic like move here, you should ask yourself: are you really right for Buffalo?” and “If you’re that into your wheels, might I suggest some other cities where you’ll spend plenty of quality time together? Unfortunately, in Buffalo…traffic jams are unheard of” and “Do you like conformity? If so, I’d recommend living in one of these cookie cutter neighborhoods. In Buffalo, every other house tends to stick out like a sore thumb.” The end of the video directs viewers to www.wherelifeworks.com to find out if they’re right for Buffalo.

Go for a Hail Mary—Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, New Media, Gold

As Peyton Manning scored the Bronco’s playoff victory he shouted “Omaha!” more than 40 times—leading to a rush of unexpected publicity for the Nebraska city. Seizing the opportunity for a “play,” the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership quickly used the football news as a focal point for launching a video series and Twitter campaign (#OmahaPeysback) to bring awareness to Omaha. The result was a touchdown—1,000 print, broadcast and Internet mentions. One of the creative videos includes the Greater Omaha Chamber sending their love back to Peyton and Denver with a fun video: “Denver’s Set. XOXO Omaha.” Plus, the Omaha-based companies, including ConAgra Foods, Omaha Steaks and more, pledged to donate a combined $700 to Manning’s “Peyback Foundation” for each time he said “Omaha” during Sunday’s playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Get Visual—Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, New Media, Gold

It’s rare to think of Instagram and economic development as perfect partners, but for Anchorage, Alaska, it was the ideal solution to show first-hand why the city is a great place to live, work and play and meet the city’s ambitious goal to become the #1 city in America by 2025. Each Monday, a different Anchorage resident is given the password for the I Love Anchorage Instagram account and free reign for a week to post photos of how they live, work and play in Anchorage. Today, the account as 2,000+ followers.

Do Something IRL—City of Maricopa, Special Event, Gold


In Maricopa, Arizona, more than $270 million a year is lost due to retail leakage. The city launched a Shop Maricopa Local campaign to ensure tax dollars stay in the city. But how did they make sure the campaign got attention? They sent two clown police officers to present during an official city council meeting that local police Chief Stahl was not shopping local. In fact, they had photo evidence of him shopping at a Target in another town (gasp!) To teach the town a lesson, Chief Stahl was detained at City Hall and held for a bail of $100,000 in local purchase receipts. Lucky for Chief Stahl, more than $295,000 in local receipts was raised.

As 2014 comes to a close, we hope these winners inspire you to brainstorm creative campaigns for your 2015 budget. We’ll see you on next year’s list!

Rebecca Gehman

Written by Rebecca Gehman

Rebecca Gehman is an Account Manager in DCI’s Economic Development division. Since joining DCI in 2012, Rebecca has played a pivotal role in content creation, media relations and marketing strategy work for clients across the globe.

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