Picked to Promote State Tourism and Business, Campbell Ewald Loves New York

Wins Empire State Development Corp. contract

Campbell Ewald New York's latest new business win covers its entire home state from Montauk to Niagara Falls.

The Empire State Development Corporation, a 47-year-old public entity created to promote tourism, local businesses and other state-centric initiatives via the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, has picked the IPG shop as its new lead creative agency after a review. The account had been with BBDO New York since 2011. The review was mandatory under state law like those for other public entities including the branches of the U.S. military.

An ESD spokesperson told Adweek that "BBDO's contract expires on [Nov. 30, 2015], and, following state procurement requirements, ESD issued an RFQ and RFP for marketing services." Sources confirmed that BBDO also participated in the review process, but the ESD declined to name any of the other agencies involved.

The account marks a significant win for Campbell Ewald. When awarding the business to BBDO, the ESD listed its spend at $50 million but later increased that number four times, eventually allocating a total of $211 million over four years.

The RFQ/RFP, which the client issued in April, tasked the winning agency with "advertising, digital marketing, events, media planning and buying services." Subsequent campaigns will be fully integrated to promote New York State tourism while also encouraging businesses to move to the Empire State and keep them there. Campbell Ewald will handle all aspects of those campaigns.

The ESD announced its review right before state auditors released a report in May arguing that earlier campaigns had not produced "tangible results" for the state. At the time, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli questioned whether New York's advertising spend had resulted in "the kind of return one might have thought."

The organization itself, however, credits the project with supporting the creation of more than 700,000 private-sector jobs and helping bring at least $300 billion in "total economic impact from tourism" to the New York State economy.

It's unclear whether the ESD will take a different tack in its ongoing efforts to promote the state's economic interests.

The most important question, however, can be answered: a spokesperson confirmed that the "I Love New York" logo and tagline will retain their central roles in all forthcoming campaigns.

Campbell Ewald's first work for the Empire State Development Corporation should debut in early 2016.