Kansas City Got Its Mayor to Write Amazon Reviews in Bid for Retailer's Second HQ

Sly James and Agency Barkley Purchased Over a Thousand Items

Published On
Oct 19, 2017

Editor's Pick

Cities all over North America are getting excited about the fact that Amazon is looking for a second HQ. With bids due this week, many of them are using marketing campaigns to lobby the retail behemoth to bring its 50,000 jobs and $5 billion investment--and although winning will not come down to a creative campaign, the cities are having fun with it.

Take Kansas City, Missouri, which, via local agency Barkley, has had the bright idea of getting its mayor, Sly James to write product reviews on Amazon which hype up the benefits of his hometown. James and his staff purchased a thousand items on Amazon.com and wrote five stars product reviews of items like Wind Chimes (seen here), a horse backpack and a toddler's train engineer costume. All cleverly find a way of tying in with some aspect of Kansas City's many qualities; for the wind chimes, it's the low house prices. A team of writers taking on the voice of Mayor James wrote more than a hundred reviews for all thousand products ordered -- and in some cases, he bought as many as 25 of each item.

Other fun campaigns include that of Birmingham, Alabama, which, in a campaign by agency Big, has created two oversized Amazon Dash-like buttons that when pressed automatically send one of hundreds of pre-developed tweets through @BringAtoB. Meanwhile New York Mayor Bill de Blasio turned some of the city's most iconic buildings orange in its effort to woo Amazon.

Calgary, Canada is also getting in on the act with a campaign through Critical Mass that includes both videos and large-scale billboards and street art written in chalk plastered all over Seattle. One of the billboards is placed directly outside of Amazon's downtown corporate office with the words: "Hey, Amazon. Not saying we'd fight a bear for you... but we totally would."


Oct 19, 2017
Brand :
Kansas City Mayor
Client :
Kansas City Mayor
Kansas City Mayor :
Sly James
Director, Communications :
James Roberts
Business Development Officer :
Morgan Franklin
Executive Vice President, Executive Creative Director :
Katy Hornaday
Vice President, Group Creative Director :
Berk Wasserman
Vice President, Group Strategy Director :
Chris Cardetti
Director, Strategy :
Jimmy Keown
Vice President, Strategy Director :
Howard Laubscher
Creative Director :
Matt Pruett
Associate Creative Director :
Joe DeSalvo
Associate Creative Director :
Jeremy Gilberto
Associate Creative Director :
Jordan Breindel
Writer :
Justin Smith
Senior Writer :
Jim Howard
Art Director :
Megan Adams
Writer :
Alissa Funk
Senior Project Manager :
Tifany Wrzesinski
Creative Production Director :
Dustin Schirer
Creative Producer :
Nick Stout
Camera 1 :
Nick Stout
Creative Producer :
Griffin Davis
Camera 2 :
Griffin Davis
Executive Producer :
Melany Esfeld
Associate Producer :
Tashia Neuhaus
Integrated Production Manager :
Lauren Alexander
Technical Director :
Luke Hurd
Vice President, Account Director :
John Hornaday
Engagement Director :
Lindsey Ingram
Content Director :
Bailey Grover
Content Producer :
Shannon Scribner

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type