The $38,450 ad buy is paid for by the TexasOne public-private partnership which markets the state as a business destination.
It will include week-long print and web ads on Crain’s Chicago Business Journal and their website chicagobusiness.com.
Specifically, Texas is getting a two-day takeover of the website, ads through email marketing, and a full page ad in the Monday print edition of Crain’s Chicago Business Journal.
If anything, these Chicago ads are even more scathing than the similar California ad campaign a couple of months ago.
You can see the ad graphics if you visit chicagobusiness.com. One says “Get Out while There’s Still Time and Come to Texas.” The other one says “The Escape Route to Economic Freedom Leads to Texas.”
The detailed text in the print ad (pdf) expands on the “escape from Illinois” theme and compares companies in Illinois to people stuck in a burning building about to collapse.
“With rising taxes and government interference on the upswing, your situation is not unlike a burning building on the verge of collapse. if you’re thinking of “just riding it out” you might want to reconsider. There is an escape route to economic freedom… a route to Texas.”
This exit/escape theme is further hammered home if you click on the ad link and visit the page created for Illinois on texaswideopenforbusiness.com, where it says “To start your escape to Texas, contact us at 512-655-EXIT (3948) or email@example.com.”
It’s just a $38,450 ad buy and it will be history in a week, but as California found out the hard way, the free media coverage of these Texas ads goes a long way. Gov. Perry told Site Selection magazine last month that the $24,000 ad buy in California and criticism of the ads by state officials had earned Texas $4 million worth of free media.
If Illinois wants to escape this kind of free media heat, state officials need to entirely ignore the campaign, or at the very least downplay its impact without being overly critical of Texas.