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MICHIGAN WOOS INDUSTRY VIA CEO PITCHES: MULTIMEDIA ADS IN MAJOR MARKETS STAR EXECUTIVES BASED IN THE STATE

By Published on .

Corporate CEOs are the stars of a new $5 million pitch to attract business to Michigan.

Spending more than double the $2 million allocated last year, the Michigan Jobs Commission is preparing to roll out a marketing campaign that for the first time under the administration of Gov. John Engler will feature business executives talking up the state.

The campaign will encompass print, radio, TV, direct mail and possibly Internet advertising. It will target executives in Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Toronto, and and will feature testimonials from a dozen or more heads of large and small Michigan businesses. They include Compuware Corp. Chairman-CEO Peter Karmanos and Avalon Investments President Rick Snyder.

SEVEN INDUSTRIES TARGETED

The campaign will target six industries identified by the Jobs Commission as good prospects: electronics; industrial machinery; information technology, particularly software that helps companies integrate manufacturing processes; instruments, including those used to measure or analyze; research and testing services; and biotechnology, primarily human medical technology.

Departing from a quality-of-life promotion, the state is focusing on the corporate bottom line and relaying its information through the type of messengers that focus groups liked, said Jim Tobin, the Jobs Commission's director of public affairs.

"There's a lot of credibility, coming from another business leader," he said.

Marcie Brogan, managing partner of agency Brogan & Partners, Detroit, said interviews with about 1,000 CEOs and decisionmakers in target cities helped shape the campaign.

"Our job was to try to develop the Michigan brand as a place to do business, as a place to succeed in business," she said.

The first radio and print ads are scheduled to begin this month in the New York area, followed there in March by TV spots. The campaign is scheduled to begin in Chicago in April, Toronto in June and Cleveland in August. Spots will run for six weeks in each market.

Mr. Tobin said the state also may make a national TV buy on a cable network such as CNBC or CNN.

NATIONAL RADIO AND PRINT, TOO

In addition to local radio buys, the state also plans to run a national radio ad on National Public Radio. Print ads will run in newspapers, business publications and, possibly, local chamber of commerce magazines.

"It really is an image campaign," Mr. Tobin said. "We think that if they think better of Michigan, ultimately, we'll be on the list for locations."

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