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January 13, 2011

On the Campaign Trail: Battling Back Against a Mighty Bleak Image, Detroit Launches Its "I'm a Believer" Effort, Crafted By Media Specialists Tired Of Constant Motor City Bashing — City Will Be "Plastered" with Messaging

With a rousing new song to enlist Detroiters to believe in the city and turn it around, Detroit mayor Dave Bing unveiled a new $10-million advertising campaign this week that will plaster the city with billboards and flood the news media with its positive message. The "I'm a Believer" campaign comes from a volunteer effort led by two local media specialists tired of all the Detroit bashers who live in the region and beyond. It addresses the hope that Detroit can rebound and regain its status as a world-class city. "We're coming back," said Bing, when asked Tuesday why people should believe in Detroit. "We will be the city everyone wanted to be," he added, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Newly elected county executive Mark Hackel said the suburbs support Detroit's need to be successful. "The suburbs developed from the city of Detroit," he said. "Their success is our success. The issues they are facing, we are facing. If Detroit does not come back, the suburbs will have a difficult time doing the same," he added, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Detroit reportedly paid nothing for the campaign. Its $10-million cost, raised totally from donations, reflects what someone would have paid to design the campaign, create its ads and a Web site, and buy advertising time and space. "I'm a Believer" will feature 40 billboards and a slew of radio, TV and print ads with some of the region's leaders, entertainers and celebrities. The ads point people to the campaign's Web site, where they will find dozens of opportunities to help make Detroit a good, clean, safe place to live, reports Free Press writer Patricia Anstett.

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