Business Brief: Jacksonville Marketer Helps Move Enterprise Florida Into 'Future'

Feb 15, 2016

A screenshot from the "Florida The Future is Here" video shows a truck driving.
Credit Enterprise Florida via YouTube

Enterprise Florida, the state's public-private economic development agency, has introduced a new $10 million global advertising campaign that declares, "Florida: The Future is Here."

In this week’s “Business Brief,” analyst John Burr introduces News Director Jessica Palombo to St. John & Partners, the Jacksonville marketing firm behind the state’s new campaign. The firm is working on a $580,000 contract from Enterprise Florida.
 

In launching the new campaign, the state's business-recruitment agency discarded a somewhat controversial "tie".  The older brand was introduced in 2013 and featured an orange tie in the letter "i" of Florida. The argument against the brand was that the men's apparel seemed to exclude women.

Now, Enterprise Florida President & CEO Bill Johnson, who took over leadership of the agency a year ago, said during a recent board of directors meeting at Florida State University that the new "business friendly" and "business forward" brand will be seen as "the best of any state in the nation."

"Every single day in the trade magazines, I rip out boring ads. From Pennsylvania, New York, they're boring. Texas? It's boring," Johnson said. "We're going to be fresh. We're going to show we're — what — multicultural, multilingual. We have an unbelievable number of assets to sell, and we're going to do just that."

The new brand, which was selected from more than a dozen concepts in less than six months, replaces the often-criticized "Florida, the perfect climate for business" brand.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a member of the Enterprise Florida board, said after the meeting the new design is an improvement.

"I found it (the new brand) to be much more reflective of the dynamic nature of our economy than orange ties and sand castles," Putnam said.

The St. John & Partners campaign will first start to appear in business journals and in online ads, before going out on radio and television. A webpage, FloridaTheFutureisHere.com, is already live. Here's a video spot: 

 

"The goal is when you're sitting in an airline seat to Geneva and you'll pull open your airline magazine and you'll open it and see an ad, the first thing you'll see is a picture," said Joe Hice, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Enterprise Florida. "You won't even need to read the copy. You'll know that is Florida business. It will be that image that you'll recognize almost instantly as Florida."

Hice also said Enterprise Florida will be able to measure the success of the ads through business inquiries and job creation.

Florida lawmakers gave $8.5 million to the public-private agency during the current fiscal year for marketing. The agency has put up an additional $1.5 million for the effort. Gov. Rick Scott is asking lawmakers to set aside $250 million for business-recruitment incentives through Enterprise Florida next year.