On Sept. 7, Amazon announced its search for a city to host its second headquarters, also known as "HQ2." The gigantic corporation promises to invest $5 billion into its chosen city and add up to 50,000 jobs. The deadline closed Thursday, Oct. 19 and the potential economic boon has sent cities across the country into a frenzy, prompting 238 cities to submit their proposals to Amazon.
Locally, members of the Philly Ad Club, which includes industry professionals and students from colleges in the region, are taking part in a joint social media campaign called #PhillyIsPrime to show the best of what the city has to offer.
"The goal of the campaign is to convince Amazon that Philly is the right place to do business," said Dana Saewitz, chair of Temple University's Department of Advertising and PR and member of the Philly Ad Club's Board of Governors. ""The more media attention we get, the more people participate in the campaign."
Lida Lech, who helps manage the social media campaign, added "The purpose is to really showcase what Philadelphia is all about from a local's perspective—things that you wouldn't necessarily know about Philadelphia during a quick tourist trip or something you came across on the internet."
One of the great parts about the campaign is that the content is curated by students, posting photos and videos on Twitter and Instagram. As part of an assignment for Klein Professor Matthew Ray, advertising major Amanda Brown posted a promotion video on her instagram that got 720 views (at the time of posting), showing a variety of sites and amenities in Philadelphia.
"I like the fact that PhillyIsPrime's content is put together by students, with Temple students having the most entries," Brown said. "It shows they are really taking their time to add this campaign."
Justin McAneny, an activation strategist at Quench Agency and member of the Philly Ad Club, originally pitched this idea and used Brown's video in a unique way. He created an ad on Facebook and targeted wealthy residents of an affluent Seattle neighborhood, ensuring that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos or one of his fellow executives would see it.
"We asked the students to create content because, at the end of the day, they are the ones that choose to be here," McAneny said. "They're more active than any of us."
Whitney Johnson, a student admission coordinator for Klein's Office of Graduate and Research Studies, has also been very active in this social media campaign, working to get others involved and posting pictures of cultural attractions like Steve Starr restaurants and the FringeArts theater.
"Because Philly is such a proud city, it was easier to get people involved then I thought it was going to be," Johnson said. "I also have a lot of pride for it. I see a lot of the good. This is a great city."
Representatives of Amazon say the decision will be made in 2018.