Officials hope to rebrand Kansas as not just a ‘flyover state’

photo by: Peter Hancock

These new marketing images, unveiled July 19, 2018, are part of a state campaign to rebrand Kansas as a place that can attract high-tech industry and modern agribusiness.

TOPEKA – The state of Kansas is about to launch a new marketing campaign aimed at rebranding the state as not just one that people pass by on their way to somewhere else, but one that can attract high-tech manufacturing, aviation and agribusiness companies.

Gov. Jeff Colyer and other state officials unveiled the new “Land in Kansas” campaign during a Statehouse news conference Thursday, saying the campaign will unify the state’s economic development message across all state agencies.

“Kansas, to many people, is a flyover state, but we really need you to land in Kansas,” Colyer said. “This is a first step to a new, comprehensive marketing campaign that will help others around the country and around the world to know that Kansas is open for business.”

photo by: Peter Hancock

Gov. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Labor Secretary Lana Gordon join other state and economic development officials July 19, 2018, to announce a new marketing campaign to promote Kansas as a place to do business.

The state of Kansas has tried marketing slogans before, with limited success. In 1979, it launched a series of TV commercials with the catchphrase “Ah, Kansas.” And in the 1980s, it launched another campaign touting Kansas as the “Land of Ahs.”

Those campaigns, though, were designed primarily to promote Kansas as a tourist destination. But Charlie Tetrick, president and CEO of Walz Tetrick Advertising, the Mission firm that designed the new ads, said the “Land in Kansas” theme will be aimed at businesses and industries that could locate in Kansas.

“The tactics to reach all those will be everything from media support to trade show activity to direct mail,” Tetrick said. “A lot of this campaign will be directed to personal sales, getting in front of the right people and getting them to come see us.”

So far, the state has only come up with the new branding theme. Interim Secretary of Commerce Bob North said it will take additional time, and additional money, to execute the new strategy.

“This effort will require significant investment of dollars,” he said, without providing further details.

In addition to the marketing campaign, Colyer said the administration is planning a “top-down review” of the state’s existing economic development programs, as well as a pilot program to help smaller communities engage in a strategic planning process to better target specific areas for economic growth.


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