State officials want Indiana’s new tourism campaign – “IN Indiana” – to be a “really big megaphone” that helps people promote the Hoosier State.
Elaine Bedel is the head of the state's tourism agency, the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. She called “IN Indiana” a kind of headline. Anyone can use the template, for free, to pair with their own slogans that help promote Indiana attractions.
“‘Life Is Better IN Indiana’ – speaking to our quality of life and place and that Hoosier pride we all have," Bedel said. "‘Build Your Future’ encourages our graduates to stay right here and find that first or second job.”
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Gov. Eric Holcomb said the campaign is meant to be flexible and adaptable in a way that can be magnified beyond the state government’s efforts.
“Now, it’s going to have the power of one voice in Indiana, with all the diversity and all the options available at the grassroots level, at the ground level,” Holcomb said.
That adaptability can be a double-edged sword, however, which Holcomb acknowledged.
"While we encourage people to participate and be very active in this marketing campaign for the state of Indiana ... we'll have to make sure that everyone's a good actor," Holcomb said. "Because it's just natural that people are going to be – there will be some who will want to distort the true intent of this campaign."
Holcomb said there will be a licensing agreement people have to sign when they download the marketing campaign template.
Indiana paid an outside firm already under contract to develop the campaign using existing budget dollars. And it will spend $3.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to promote the state, using the new campaign.
Bedel said the state will focus its efforts on Chicago, Louisville and St. Louis. And she acknowledged that the campaign can only have so much impact, depending on the funding the state puts behind it.
"So, we're going to measure what we can within those entities and see what the returns are," Bedel said. "And hopefully that will convince the legislators that, yes, we need to put more behind this so that we can go out even farther."
Bedel said the measurements Indiana will study will include digital engagement and how many people visit the state when targeted with the new campaign.