Hirons & Co. Picks Up 2 State Contracts

The Indiana Department of Commerce has awarded its ad contracts for tourism and commerce to Hirons & Co. Advertising following a three-month review.

The state of Indiana is now the Bloomington, Ind., shop’s largest client. Annual billings for the two, two-year contracts approach $5 million.

Hirons has extensive experience with the state, including Web work for the IDOC and creative projects for the Criminal Justice Institute. That background proved key in besting the eight shops that participated in reviews for the two contracts, said agency president Tom Hirons.

“It was a straightforward oral pitch that focused on an agency’s capabilities,” Hirons said. “It didn’t include creative proposals.”

The commerce contract was previously handled by the Asher Agency, while Bates USA handled tourism. Both Indianapolis-based shops defended.

Beginning July 1, both contracts are full-service accounts. The business work is national in scope, while tourism focuses on key regional markets, Hirons said. There is also a global aspect to the tourism contract; it involves attracting international drivers and race fans to Indiana for a U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in Indianapolis.

Indiana’s decision to hire a single agency for both business and consumer promotions jibes with the state’s intent to have a more “universal voice” in promoting the Hoosier state, while at the same time maintaining separate promotions for each segment, Hirons said. For the past decade, Indiana used separate shops for the accounts.

“While the work is for two independent brands,” Hirons noted, “they are seeking a consistency in branding and a crossover in marketing.”

Most recently, the state has used “Indiana, be in a state of progress” tagline for business promotion. “Enjoy Indiana” has been used for tourism.