“Get Midwest”- A generic campaign that is guaranteed to fail.

“Be Midwest” logo developed by Turner Effect and Real Art for the Dayton Development CoalitionDaytonOS announced the development of the “Get Midwest” campaign long ago, and I mentioned then that this was a doomed campaign, created by Representative Michael R. Turner’s wifes firm, The Turner Effect.

After meeting with Maureen Patterson of the Dayton Development Coalition, I tried to tell her that “Get Midwest” fails the fundamental “Swap Test”- that is, if your slogan or ad, could just as easily be used by Detroit as Dayton, it fails. No heed was paid, and today, the campaign was officially announced in the Dayton Daily News:

Coalition launches marketing campaign
The Dayton Development Coalition is rolling out a marketing campaign and counting on participation from businesses, corporate executives and local governments to promote economic development and attract investment to the region.

A $2 million contribution from the Mathile Family Foundation, headed by Dayton entrepreneur Clay Mathile, will get the marketing/branding effort under way for at least the next year around the country and across the 12-county Dayton region.

Coalition officials said they welcome the Mathile contribution, and hope that the region’s corporations and local governments will join in the effort to spread the marketing message and its accompanying brand logos across the country for years to come. The campaign is to continue for years, with adjustments as needed to reach target audiences, coalition officials said.

Those developments were being announced by the Dayton Development Coalition and the Mathile Family Foundation this afternoon during the coalition’s annual meeting at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The brand “Get Midwest … We Think of Everything … Dayton Region,” is to appear in upcoming months in national media, trade journals and other forums as part of the campaign.

Corporate chief executives and volunteer “brand ambassadors” from around the Dayton region will be recruited to adopt and spread the marketing message as well, coalition officials said.

The brands were developed during the past two years at a cost of $1.5 million, the combined total of state funding and private contributions plus support from the development coalition, said J.P. Nauseef, its president and chief executive officer.

Nauseef said the marketing campaign will be part of the coalition’s effort to promote regional investment and attract companies and individuals from around the country to boost four industries identified as key to the region’s future: aerospace research and development, information technology, advanced materials and manufacturing, and human sciences and health care.

The campaign will highlight the region’s job opportunities, affordable real estate and cost of living, educational and arts organizations, and easy work-home commutes, Nauseef said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2242 or [email protected].

About the campaign

It was shaped by the Dayton Development Coalition, a not-for-profit regional economic development organization of more than 250 members, including companies and about 25 local governments.

The coalition has hired two Dayton firms, Real Art Design Group Inc. and Turner Effect, to provide design, communications and public relations services to carry out the campaign.

The Dayton region is defined to include Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and Warren counties.

An insider told me that when he saw the campaign, he too was scratching his head, but the only person to speak up and question the emperors new clothes was none other than Dr. Benjamin Schuster.

There is no doubt the campaign looks good and professional. Real Art is a talented firm. The problem is in the positioning- “Midwest” is an area that even mapmakers have a hard time defining. Part of the problem is that this was a decision by a committee of who-knows-how-many people, and none of them, have one iota experience with branding.

If elected, I wouldn’t let my firm engage in work for quasi-public firms, especially ones as politically charged as the Dayton Development Coalition. It’s one of the key differences between me and my opponent.

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