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Iowa Economic Development Authority

Changing the Perception of Iowa from Farmland to Dreamland

3 min read
OFFICES: Kansas City and St. Louis
Graphic of the United States Iowa standouts with a sign stating come in we are hiring
our solution

We went after the toughest audience in the country — New Yorkers.

Through proprietary research, we discovered two key insights: consumers in their 20s and 30s were most open to moving, and the first step to consider moving somewhere is having visited there first. So we promoted tourism and travel to Iowa as part of our strategy for growing a quality workforce. Then we set out to convince those who seemed least likely to find Iowa appealing — New York City residents — and made an example of them.

We set up a fake real estate office in New York City and offered up listings secretly from Iowa. We captured priceless reactions and created a video that disbanded the perception that Iowa was just a dusty farmland. We continued to reveal the real Iowa through online ads on travelandleisure.com, Uber car wraps and a website we concepted called ThisIsIowa.com. We engaged social media influencers to encourage Iowa travel and spread truths about the state.

the impact

Awareness, interest, positive perception and travel were on the rise.

After millions of video views, social engagements and impressions, post-campaign launch visits to Iowa were up 89% — achieving that critical first step in getting people to move. And when we tested our creative with a segment of our target audience it revealed favorable results.
video views
265 M+
total impressions

Integrated Communications, Government

PRSA Silver Anvils 2020


“This has opened my eyes. I’m going to look into Iowa.”
New York City resident

Marketing, Consumer Services, Travel & Tourism

PRSA Silver Anvils 2020