When the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County decided to reach out to the CEOs of companies headquartered outside of Florida who own second (or third or fourth) homes in Palm Beach County, to educate them about the myriad advantages of relocating their businesses here, it needed an eye-catching campaign that would speak directly to this sophisticated audience on a peer-to-peer level.
The BDB tapped Alchemy Communications Group to come up with a multi-media campaign that would capitalize on a time when this rarefied group would be an essentially captive audience — during the 12 weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. Many of the country’s top CEOs are spectators at the high-stakes competition as their own children vie for top honors.
So, how do you grab their attention amid the dozens of ads for luxury cars, Hermes saddles and waiting-list handbags, Worth Avenue purveyors, equestrian haberdashers, custom leather equipage, realtors specializing in everything from Palm Beach mansions to horse farms, restaurants, and retailers all vying for the many millions of dollars circulating at WEF?
By asking provocative questions; using a palette of saturated colors that are not the usual “South Florida” pastels; employing the latest in instant digital gratification, the QR code; and tying together print ads in the event’s weekly WIRE program, 30-second TV spots on the Jumbotron, table-top tent cards in the International Club, and PA announcements that all drive to a stand-alone web microsite.
“Our thought process was, ‘What would get the attention of the founder or CEO of a very successful company, who knows South Florida as a vacation destination but has no reason to know that there are some very large national and even international companies that have chosen Palm Beach County as their headquarters?'” says Kelly Owens, partner and editorial director. “We though that if we took some of the little known facts about a handful of our largest and most successful companies, and turned them into somewhat mysterious and provocative questions, we would pique their curiosity to know the answer.”
Affixed to the table-top tent cards was a small credit-card-sized card printed with the URL HQpbc.com and a QR code. It could be taken and tucked away for later, or scanned with a smart phone right there. The rest of the card was given over to a question that changed each week, and the invitation to find out the answer by visiting the website. The black tent cards were green inside to match the take-away card affixed to the front. Rather than wasting valuable real estate, the inside of the tent card was printed with a series of Quick Facts that echoed the data used in the highly graphic 30-second TV spots.
Titled “Right Here. Right Now.”, both TV spots made use of the long list of advantages and superlatives about doing business in, or moving a business to, Palm Beach County. “We used animated type with a lot of quick cuts and movement on both the horizontal and vertical planes to keep attention on the screen,” says Steve Owens, partner and creative director. “We then laid in voice-over and music to be sure the message was succinctly conveyed.” Alchemy worked with DreamShop Digital Arts for post-production and animation, with Steve directing the spots and Kelly writing the voice-over scripts. Both commercials can be seen on the HQpbc.com microsite.
Each week, as the new table-top tent card appeared in the International Club tent, the payoff answer appeared on the HQpbc.com microsite in the form of a company profile, along with the picture of the company’s CEO. The Palm Beach County based businesses currently featured in the campaign are Florida Power & Light, Sikorsky Aircraft, Florida Crystals, FTI Consulting, G4S, SBA Communications, Scripps Florida, Max Planck Florida Institute, and LRP Publications.
The Business Development Board’s President, Kelly Smallridge, intends to expand and use the campaign in the economic development organization’s ongoing efforts to attract new industries, business investment, and high-quality jobs to Palm Beach County through corporate relocations and/or expansions, and international trade, which will stimulate economic energy, promote business diversity, and enrich our county’s vitality.
The microsite was built to be flexible so that it can be modified to focus on a specific industry cluster or market cap. Company profiles can be added, moved, or replaced at will, giving the BDB great control over messaging, content, and the ability to update economic data and facts. Alchemy worked with LocalManagement.us and its principal, Matt Kakuk, to execute the programming of its custom web design work.
Alchemy is already hard at work on the redesign of the BDB’s outgoing marketing collateral package, and the “Right Here. Right Now.” campaign will inform, to some degree, its “Corporate Headquarters” collateral brochure, making further use of the expenditure for this campaign and using its marketing dollars wisely.